Sunday, 25 December 2016

**************Have A Merry Festive Season 2016**************


North Coast Voices wishes its regular readers and casual browsers a happy holiday season.

After a short annual break the blog will return on New Year’s Day 1 January 2017.

*Image found at pinterest.com

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Australian Bureau of Statistics under Kalisch continues to prove that Census 2016 was expensive as well as a statistical and public relations disaster


Information coming out of the once-proud Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) again proves that it approached the most radical change to the national census of population and housing with an almost complete lack of understanding of the mood of the populace1.

ABC News, 23 December 2016:

Taxpayers spent close to $200,000 to turn the Sydney Opera House green to promote the 2016 census, without any clear reference to the national survey.

The seven sails of the national landmark were lit up for two nights but did not include any information about the census, the website, a hashtag or branding.

Internal documents show it cost taxpayers $192,000 for setup, equipment hire, management and support.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) chief statistician David Kalisch described it as a "major public relations opportunity" and said it was likely to attract "social media influencers".

"This will maximise awareness and engagement with the census, and help create a national conversation," Mr Kalisch wrote in the document.

The Opera House turned green for census night and the night before but the social media conversation was dominated by the website's failure.

There was a 40-hour outage caused by four Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that had been the subject of a blame game between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and contractors for months.

The Opera House was part of a national campaign to light up landmarks with the colour green.

The Melbourne Arts Centre, Canberra's Telstra Tower, Brisbane's City Hall and the Darwin Convention Centre were some of the 20 sites to "go green" for the census…..

The total census campaign media budget was $12 million.



Currently ABS alleges that the national census response rate exceeds 96 per cent - comprising over 4.9 million online forms and over 3.5 million paper forms representing 8.4 million households/dwellings.
A rather strange statement by the Bureau, given it previously stated in the lead up to the census that it expected to survey close to 10 million dwellings and afterwards that there were exactly 9.8 million dwellings within the survey pool.

The failure to genuinely meet response rate requirements being papered over by the many personal forms in addition to the household ones [Senate Economics References Committee, 24 November 2016, inquiry report, 2016 Census: issues of trust, p.80].  Presumably these personal forms were official census forms which stated the person was in transit (travellers, homeless, & hospital patients) – all est.1.2 million of them if the deliberately vague assertion of the Bureau is to be believed.

The next public confidence hurdle for the failed 9 August 2016 Census comes when preliminary population and dwelling counts are released in April 2017 – given that so many people are aware of friends or acquaintances who deliberately refused to supply name and/or address or filled in their census forms with inaccurate or misleading information in an attempt to avoid having their genuine personal information retained by the federal government indefinitely in a national database for as yet unstated or unexplained purposes.

NOTES:

1. Previous North Coast Voices posts on 2016 Census here.
    Bill McLennan, 2016, Privacy and the 2016 Census.

Yet another #TurnbullGovernmentFAIL


Turnbull Government decides Australian taxpayers should fund extremely dubious, irresponsible comment……..

The Guardian, 23 December 2016:

The Turnbull government signed an agreement to make a $640,000 grant to Bjørn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Centre nine months after plans to establish the centre had been abandoned.

The education department may have been under no legal obligation to make the grant, documents suggest.

The funding was used to support the centre’s post-2015 UN development goals project that found limiting global temperature rises to 2C was a poor investment.

A breakdown of costs released on Thursday shows that $482,000 of the Australian funding was spent on professional fees and services including research, “outreach” and forums.

About $146,000 was spent on travel in an ambitious global project convening seminars to discuss the UN development goals in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and New York.

The project formed the basis of Lomborg’s book The Nobel Laureates’ Guide to the Smartest Targets for the World, which is not widely available in Australian shops.

Documents released under freedom of information show the department only entered a formal agreement to fund the project as late as 21 March 2016. Based on those documents and answers provided by the education department it appears the government did not have any ongoing commitment to the project when the Australian Consensus Centre was canned in June 2015.

The government’s plan to establish the Australian Consensus Centre was put into effect in an agreement with the University of Western Australia (UWA) dated 24 March 2015.
But on 26 June 2015 the government and UWA terminated the agreement by consent because the university rejected the funds after a public backlash. The agreement created an obligation for the government to pay UWA’s reasonable costs, but did not create obligations to the CCC.

An education department spokeswoman told Guardian Australia no payments were made to UWA under the agreement.

The $640,000 grant is disclosed in a log of education grants dated 2 July 2015 but the spokeswoman said it was only added after the grant agreement was signed with the CCC on 21 March 2016.

In September 2015 it was referred to in an incoming ministerial brief to Turnbull’s pick for education minister, Simon Birmingham.

“The department has negotiated a funding agreement which will provide a one-off payment to the CCC for a total of $640,000 to cover costs incurred in relation to the establishment of the Australian Consensus Centre prior to the decision to cancel this project,” it said.

When Guardian Australia asked for a copy of the “funding agreement” with the CCC referred to in the briefing, the education department provided the 21 March 2016 agreement.

An education department spokeswoman said “payments were undertaken in accordance with the government’s funding agreement with UWA and the memorandum of understanding between UWA and the CCC”.

The department did not directly respond to questions about how an agreement between the government and UWA and a the memorandum between UWA and the CCC could create legal obligations between the department and the CCC.

If there was another legal obligation to pay the CCC, such as an equitable duty, the education department did not identify it after detailed questions, nor identify its source.

Neither the education department nor Birmingham explained why a new grant agreement was struck on 21 March 2016 if all or part of the $640,000 was owed by the commonwealth for some pre-existing legal obligation……

Friday, 23 December 2016

ABC management continues to disappoint


The Turnbull Government decision to continue the former Abbott Government's white anting of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is alienating ABC listeners in remote Australia.

What the ABC is stating…..

6 December 2016 Press Release regarding ABC Shortwave Radio Services:

The ABC will end its shortwave transmission service in the Northern Territory and to international audiences from 31 January 2017.

The move is in line with the national broadcaster’s commitment to dispense with outdated technology and to expand its digital content offerings including DAB+ digital radio, online and mobile services, together with FM services for international audiences.

The majority of ABC audiences in the Northern Territory currently access ABC services via AM and FM and all ABC radio and digital radio services are available on the VAST satellite service.

ABC International’s shortwave services currently broadcast to PNG and the Pacific. Savings realised through decommissioning this service will be reinvested in a more robust FM transmitter network and an expanded content offering for the region that will include English and in-language audio content.

Michael Mason, ABC’s Director of Radio said, “While shortwave technology has served audiences well for many decades, it is now nearly a century old and serves a very limited audience. The ABC is seeking efficiencies and will instead service this audience through modern technology”.

The ABC, working alongside SBS, is planning to extend its digital radio services in Darwin and Hobart, and to make permanent its current digital radio trial in Canberra. Extending DAB+ into the nation’s eight capital cities will ensure ABC digital radio services can reach an additional 700,000 people, increasing the overall reach of ABC digital radio to 60% of the Australian population.

ABC Radio is also investigating transmission improvements to address reception gaps in the existing five DAB+ markets. It aims to ensure a resilient DAB+ service in every capital city, with enhanced bitrates and infill where necessary.

“Extending our DAB+ offer will allow audiences in every capital city in Australia equal access to our digital radio offering, as well as representing an ongoing broadcast cost saving owing to lower transmission costs,” added Michael Mason.

ABC International’s Chief Executive Officer Lynley Marshall said the reinvestment from closing international shortwave services would maximise the ABC’s broadcast capabilities in the region.

“In considering how best to serve our Pacific regional audiences into the future we will move away from the legacy of shortwave radio distribution,” Ms Marshall said. “An ever-growing number of people in the region now have access to mobile phones with FM receivers and the ABC will redirect funds towards an extended content offering and a robust FM distribution network to better serve audiences into the future.”

Once international shortwave ceases transmission, international listeners can continue to access ABC International services via:

 ·         a web stream at: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/listen
 ·         in-country FM transmitters, see Radio Australia’s ‘Ways to Listen’ at: 
        http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/waystolisten/fiji
 ·         the Australia Plus expats app (available in both iOS and Android)
 ·         partner websites and apps such as www.tunein.com and www.vtuner.com.

Audiences can access further information via the reception advice line 1300 139  994 or via ABC Local Radio (Darwin & Alice Springs).

For more information
Louise Alley
P: +61 2 8333 2621
alley.louise@abc.net.au
(ABC Radio queries)
Nick Leys
p: +61 3 9626 1417
leys.nick@abc.net.au
(ABC International queries)

Domestic Shortwave Radio Service available until 31 January 2017:

ABC's Domestic Shortwave Service provides Local Radio (not Radio Australia).
The frequencies are:
Site
Day Frequency
Night Frequency
Roe Creek
4835kHz
4835kHz
Katherine
5025kHz
2485kHz
Tennant Creek
4910kHz
2325kHz
Roe Creek site is Alice Springs.
To receive this service you will need a shortwave radio. All three services would be received in parts of the Kimberley Region.


 What the people are saying.....

Click on image to enlarge
ABC News, 8 December 2016:

An Indigenous ranger group in the Northern Territory says the ABC's decision to end its shortwave radio service could be life threatening.

The ABC announced this week its three HF shortwave radio transmitters at Katherine, Tennant Creek and Roe Creek (Alice Springs), would be switched off on January 31, 2017.

ABC Radio will continue to broadcast on FM and AM bands, via the viewer access satellite television (VAST) service, streaming online and via the mobile phone application.

Mark Crocombe from the Thamarrurr Rangers, in the remote community of Wadeye, said the rangers spent days and sometimes weeks at a time away in the bush and out on sea patrols.

He said the group relied on the ABC's shortwave radio for weather reports and emergency information.

"Otherwise you have to call back to the base on the HF radio to ask people [there], but then you can't listen to the report yourself, you are relying on someone else's second-hand report," Mr Crocombe said.

Mr Crocombe said on previous bush trips he had received warnings of cyclones via the ABC's shortwave service, without which he would not have had any notice.

"Sure, it is expensive to keep the shortwave radio service going, but during cyclones, for the bush camps and people on boats, that is their only way of getting the weather reports," he said.

"It could be life threatening, if you are out and you don't know a cyclone is coming."

Mr Crocombe said the VAST service did not work during cloudy weather, especially during monsoons and cyclones.

"The VAST satellite dish is fixed to your house, we are working in the field, and when we are on the boats we are not in mobile phone range, so applications and VAST do not work in the bush," he said……

The national broadcaster said in a statement on Tuesday the move was in line with its "commitment to dispense with outdated technology and to expand its digital content offerings."
But the announcement was met with anger by the Northern Territory Cattleman's Association.

President Tom Stockwell, who lives on Sunday Creek Station with no access to AM or FM radio or mobile phone coverage, said the ABC's decision to focus on digital transmission ignored people in the bush.

"It affects a big area of Australia and it affects those people that are remote from other forms of communication that rely on radio network," he said.

"The ABC argument that it's a 100-year-old technology doesn't stack up. Electricity is 100-years-old — is the ABC going to get rid of electricity as well?

"Anybody who's remote and away from a satellite dish won't get local radio, won't get emergency radio, won't get emergency messages and they're going to use the money to put in another digital platform for crying out loud.

"It's just the most selfish, ridiculous decision I've ever heard," Mr Stockwell said......

Culleton's political & legal capers continue


Former grain acquisition agent for AWB Limited and former One Nation senator Rodney Norman "Rod" Culleton had a two days……


Click on image to enlarge

News.com.au, 19 December 2016:

“Rod Culleton is a pain in my backside. I am glad to see the back of him.”

Senator Hanson said she had not asked him to resign previously, and said she would stick by him. But now she’s changed her tune.

“He asked if I wanted him to resign. Previously, with his legal cases, he has asked if I wanted him to resign. I have said that I would stick by him, but this time I said yes because I believe that he did not comply with section 44, section 2 of the Australian Constitution.”

She added that he had been asking for money from the party.

“That is what he is angry about. He is going to court today for bankruptcy. He is trying to get the money for that,” she said…..

He accused Senator Hanson and her chief of staff of trying to force him to resign and wielding control over his office.

“The PHON leader’s rants against me have been accompanied by demands for my resignation and control over diaries, office management and staffing by Senator Hanson and her chief of staff, James Ashby,” he said. “The irrational dictates have caused only distrust and disunity.”

The embattled senator is facing legal battles, including one case before the High Court, which could render him ineligible as a parliamentarian.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 December 2016:

The judge ordered a number of brief adjournments and it took more than an hour for the hearing to recommence.

Once back in court Senator Culleton asked how proceedings could continue to which Justice Michael Barker responded "I'm running this court, not you." 

But in a bizarre turn of events police arrived at court to forcibly remove Bruce Bell and Frank Bertola, the two people alleged to be in breach of VROs…..

Earlier, Senator Culleton, who is representing himself in the case, took to the stand to cross examine the police officer who handed him his bankruptcy papers.

He asked the officer how he had responded to the notice to which Sergeant Matthew Scott said: "You put your hands in the air and said 'I'm not f---ing taking that."

Senator Culleton responded, saying: "Given my experience with you guys maybe I thought I was going to get Tasered."  

The former One Nation representative was in court to challenge a three-year-old court judgment ordering him to pay $205,000 in damages to former Wesfarmers director Dick Lester.

"If you're not going to remove them, I will stand down," Senator Culleton said during a brief spell in front of the judge before walking out on proceedings.

"If you're not going to address the issue, I will remove myself, I need my wife here now. I will not be bullied."

A legal hearing involving West Australian senator Rod Culleton descended into chaos on Monday morning with the embattled politician delaying proceedings by refusing to take to the court room.

Less than 24 hours after resigning from Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party, Senator Culleton demanded an adjournment in Federal Court in Perth - claiming two people in attendance were breaching violence restraining orders, taken out by his wife Ioanna.

Earlier, Senator Culleton, who is representing himself in the case, took to the stand to cross examine the police officer who handed him his bankruptcy papers.

He asked the officer how he had responded to the notice to which Sergeant Matthew Scott said: "You put your hands in the air and said 'I'm not f---ing taking that."……


NOTE:  The matter of  Bell v Culleton [2016] as it now stands in the High Court of Australia can be found at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCATrans/2016/289.html

Thursday, 22 December 2016

NSW Aboriginal Land Council claim on old Berrima Gaol refused by High Court


Read the full summary here.

"I know words, I have the best words."


Now that Donald John Trump has been certified by at least 270 of the 538 members the US Electoral College, there is no getting away from the fact that come 20 January 2017 the most powerful nation in the world will be ruled by an incredibly ignorant man with an inflated opinion of his own abilities.

Trump has said of himself “I went to an Ivy League school, I’m very highly educated, I know words, I have the best words.”

One has to wonder if family wealth purchased his college degree, because his command of the English language is nothing short of woeful for a college graduate.

His grammar and word choice appears never to have developed beyond that of the average eight to nine year-old Australian child while his spelling is best described as highly erratic.

A charitable person might suggest that Trump’s use of language is the result of the political choices he made during the presidential election campaign and is geared to a belief that American voters are uneducated and downright stupid.

However his spelling gives the game away. He is not faking ignorance, he is ignorant.

Anyone could be forgiven these typos – after all who hasn’t suffered from ‘fat thumb’:

However, errors such as these indicate a man who never really learned the basics:

Unpresidented for unprecedented, waite for wait, rediculous instead of ridiculous, Phillies for Phyllis, creats instead of creates, there for their and moch for mock, all give the general impression that U.S. president-elect Donald Trump rarely has the best words.


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

CCRAP and the Adani Group


Adani Mining Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of India's largest coal trader the Adani Group, intends to dig an enormous hole in the ground costing over $16 billion and the odd billion or two it can extract from gullible federal and state governments in Australia.

This hole known as the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project will comprise six open-cut pits and five underground mines; supported by five mine infrastructure areas, a coal handling and processing plant, a heavy industrial area, water-supply infrastructure, 189-kilometres of rail line (Adani has applied for a $1 billion loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to build the rail link), as well as off-site infrastructure including a workers' accommodation village and airport.

All of this running roughly parallel with the Great Barrier Reef and the Abbott Point port required to ship all this coal overseas at considerable risk to fresh water security, coral sustainability and marine biodiversity.


To facilitate its aim of environmental vandalism for corporate profit the Adani Group has registered the following companies which are all currently operating out of an office tower in Eagle Street, Brisbane:

Abbot Point Operations Pty Ltd
Adani Abbot Point Company Pty Ltd
Adani Abbot Point Holding Trust
Adani Abbot Point Terminal Holdings Pty Ltd
Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd
Adani Australia Coal Terminal Finance Company Pty Ltd
Adani Australia Coal Terminal Holdings Pty Ltd
Adani Australia Coal Terminal Pty Ltd
Adani Australia Company Pty Ltd
Adani Australia Holding Trust
Adani Minerals Pty Ltd
Adani Mining Pty Ltd
Carmichael Rail Finance Company Pty Ltd
Carmichael Rail Holdings Pty Ltd
Carmichael Rail Network Holdings Pty Ltd
Carmichael Rail Network Holdings Trust
Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd
Carmichael Rail Network Trust
Carmichael Rail Pty Ltd
Carmichael Rail Pty Ltd
Galilee Transmission Holdings Pty Ltd
Galilee Transmission Holdings Trust
Galilee Transmission Pty Ltd
Mundra Port Holding Trust
Mundra Port Holdings Pty Ltd
Mundra Port Pty Ltd

Juice Media put this mocking video together to let the Adani family and the world know what many people in this country think of this mining scheme.

Thanks to Simon Chance for this link

Published on Dec 4, 2016
The Australian Government just released this advert about the proposed Carmichael Coal Mine and it's surprisingly honest and informative. 

6 WAYS YOU CAN HELP STOP CCRAP:

1. Tell PM Malcolm Turnbull you don't want your tax dollars to be used to subsidise CCRAP: https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/gr...
2. Join GetUp!'s Fight for the Reef: https://fightforthereef.getup.org.au
3. Donate to the Wangan & Jagalingou defense fund: http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/donate
4. Follow the Wangan & Jagalingou on Facebook to keep up to date with the campaign to stop CCRAP on their lands: https://www.facebook.com/WanganandJag...
5. Find out more about the Wangain & Jagalingou traditional owners: http://wanganjagalingou.com.au
6. Share this video.
CREDITS: Written & created by Giordano. Performed by Matylda. Voice by Lucy. Thanks to Adso, Kajute, Miriam, Anthony, Adam, Benna, Damian, Dave and Dbot for helping out! Photos and Footage of Wangan & Jagalingou people used with permission from Wangan & Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council.  Please SUPPORT the Juice Media to help us make more videos: https://www.patreon.com/TheJuiceMedia

BACKGROUND

Financial Review, 6 December 2016:

Challenges:

Finance – There is a reason the Galilee Basin has been left undeveloped for the past 50 years. For a start, it's close to 500 kilometres from ports on the coast, meaning whoever is going to build the project has to outlay billions of dollars to get the project built. And the quality of the coal is not as good as others in the closer Bowen and Surat Basin.
India's Adani Group also has to find $10 billion to finance the project. There are also questions raised about whether the project is economically viable after a plunge in the coal price following the end of the coal boom. But even though the price of thermal coal has recovered to above $100 a tonne in recent months, it is less relevant because Adani is using the coal for its own power stations rather than selling to other customers. The Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis director Tim Buckley – a vocal critic of the project – says Adani's parent company is struggling with current market capitalisation of equity at $US1.1 billion, against which it has net debts of $US2.4 billion.

Environmentalists – Adani's Carmichael project has become the lightning rod for anti-fossil fuel activists and environmentalists who want to stop the building of any new coal mines in Australia. It also fits into the narrative about Australia's changing energy mix – from one dominated by coal and gas to renewable energy such as wind and solar. Environmentalists claim the extra coal exports will damage the World Heritage-protected Great Barrier Reef, although it has received environmental approval from both state and federal governments. As the Turnbull government releases its 2017 climate review this week, the argument over the Adani mega-mine also ties in with the debate about whether Australia,- which has one of the largest emissions per capita,- should be building another large coal mine that will release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Well-funded and media-savvy environmental groups have also been very effective in targeting banks about lending to the Carmichael mine. Some banks, under pressure to make sure they look like good corporate citizens, have promised not to lend to any future coal mines.

Legal activism – One of the reasons the project has been progressing at a snail's place the past seven years is because environmental and Indigenous groups have used the legal system to their advantage and challenged virtually every aspect of the project. The mining lease, environmental authority, and native title have been challenged by a range of parties, including the Australian Conservation Foundation, little-known group Coast & Country as well as Indigenous group, the Wangan and Jagalingou. They have successfully held up the project, resulting in the former Abbott government threatening to change the laws to make it harder to challenge big mining projects.

Last month, two legal challenges were thrown out of court, leaving three appeals – two before the full bench of the Federal Court over the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act and native title, and there is also a judicial review of Adani's port expansion at Abbot Point which has been brought by local residents in the Whitsundays – before the project can be given the green light.

Scandal  – The Adani Group has been plagued by allegations of corruption surrounding its projects in India. Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani is one of India's richest men, whose personal wealth was valued at $7.1 billion in 2014 by Forbes magazine. There have been allegations of environmental vandalism in relation to the development of the Port of Mundra, which is owned by Adani, as well as claims of tax evasion. Adani's Australian chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj has also been dragged into the scandal by failing to disclose his history running a mining company in Africa that pleaded guilty to serious economic harm. So far, none of these allegations have failed to bring down any of Adani's executives, but it adds to the controversy over the project.

UPDATE

ABC News, 21 December 2016:

Giant Indian conglomerate Adani, which plans to build one of the world's largest coal mines in Queensland's Galilee Basin, has set up a complex network of companies and trusts in Australia which are owned in one of the world's major tax havens, the Cayman Islands.

The Adani Group is also attempting to shift ownership of the existing Abbot Point coal port — which it bought for $1.8 billion — to a Singaporean company ultimately owned in the Cayman Islands.

An exhaustive search of company filings and documents across the globe has cast light on this opaque structure of ownership and control.

It has alarmed environmental activists and legal experts, who fear it could make it harder to gain compensation from Adani in the event of an environmental disaster from Adani's planned mine and port expansion on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

"I've been a businessman for most of my life, as well as an environmental activist, and the risks are great," said Geoff Cousins, former Optus CEO and chairman of the George Paterson advertising agency, now a board member of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

"With these kinds of approvals of big mining operations or port operations, you always get a set of conditions that the Government puts on.
"But those conditions aren't worth anything if, when something goes wrong, you try to find the company responsible and either it has no money or if it has money it's in a tax haven and you can't reach it."

It is a view echoed by David Chaikin, a professor of business law at the University of Sydney.
"The advantage of having the money in tax havens is that you are able to conceal the source of money, the use of money, and also to minimise tax," he said…..

Adani has created four companies and two trusts in Australia for the rail project.

The parent company for all these entities is Carmichael Rail and Port Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd, a company registered in Singapore where the corporate tax rate is 15 per cent.

This Singapore parent company is in turn owned by Atulya Resources Limited, a private company controlled by the Adani family and based in the Cayman Islands.

The port expansion has a similar structure: five companies and two trusts in Australia, ultimately controlled by Atulya Resources in the Cayman Islands……

Adani has created four companies and two trusts in Australia for the rail project.

The parent company for all these entities is Carmichael Rail and Port Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd, a company registered in Singapore where the corporate tax rate is 15 per cent.

This Singapore parent company is in turn owned by Atulya Resources Limited, a private company controlled by the Adani family and based in the Cayman Islands.

The port expansion has a similar structure: five companies and two trusts in Australia, ultimately controlled by Atulya Resources in the Cayman Islands.

The port expansion has a similar structure: five companies and two trusts in Australia, ultimately controlled by Atulya Resources in the Cayman Islands.

The vast expansion of the coal port planned by Adani has sparked enormous controversy.

It will involve dredging 1.1 million tonnes of spoil from the ocean near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and poses a potential danger to the environmentally-sensitive reef, which is listed on the World Heritage Register.

Critics say the company structure set up by Adani raises serious concerns about the value of strict environmental approvals placed on the project.

Ownership of the existing Abbot Point Coal Terminal is in limbo.

Adani bought a 99-year lease over the coal port in 2011 for $1.8 billion through a company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (AZPEZ).

That company said it "sold" the port three years ago to a Singaporean-based Adani family company "subject to regulatory and lenders approvals".

But the sale has not been completed, because of objections by the State Bank of India, which lent Adani $US800 million ($1.1 billion) for the port purchase.

In its latest filings with the Australian corporate watchdog, Adani still lists the port as being owned by the Bombay-listed company.

But ASPEZ's 2016 annual report said it had "recorded the divestment" of the port to Abbot Point Port Holdings Pte Ltd, Singapore: an entity which lists as its sole director Vinod Shantilal Adani, the brother of Guatam Adani, head of the Adani Group, and which is ultimately owned by Atulya Resources in the Cayman Islands.

Transferring ownership of the critical port infrastructure to a Caymans Islands' company "means it will be unregulated, unaccountable," Tim Buckley, director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analytics told the ABC.

"It will be non-transparent to the Australian Government as to what is going on, who owns it, who are the directors. To me it is a matter of national security."

Companies and trusts created by Adani for the proposed Carmichael mine are ultimately owned by Adani Enterprises, a publicly-listed company in India, but the control flows via a company registered in the tax haven of Mauritius, Adani Global Ltd.

Adani Global Ltd. is based at Suite 501 St James Court, St Denis Street in Port Louis, Mauritius, and since 1998 has operated as a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Limited which was incorporated in March 1993 as Adani Exports Ltd with the name change effected in 2007.

In October 2010 Adani's Australian subsidiary, Adani Mining Pty Ltd, made an application for approval of the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project.

On 14 October 2015 the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment granted approval of 'controlled action' subject to conditions following re-consideration of project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

In 2014 Adani and Posco had agreed to build rail line in Australia and the following year Adani signed an MoU with Australia's Woodside Energy for Energy Cooperation.

Adani media release, 25 November 2016:

Adani welcomes court decisions Adani Group today welcomed decisions by the Queensland Supreme Court to dismiss activist lead appeals against the granting of a Mining Lease and an Environmental Authority in relation to the company’s planned $21 billion coal project. The company said the decisions were further positive steps towards starting work in the September Quarter 2017 on the Carmichael Mine in central western Queensland and associated projects – a near-400km rail line and port expansion at Abbott Point. Adani said it would now examine the full decision documents and make no further comment.

Adani letter to the Indian stock exchange, excerpt, 8 December 2016:


Live Mint, 21 December 2016:

Adani Enterprises Ltd is aiming to start production at its $16 billion integrated mining project in Australia by end of 2020, after facing a four-year delay because of stiff resistance from environmental groups. 

In an interview, group chairman Gautam Adani brushed aside concerns about the group’s indebtedness and said it was looking at investment opportunities in sectors such as defence, coal conversions and water. He added that the group continues to explore opportunities in the mining sector as it looks at an integrated “pit-to-plug” strategy encompassing mines, rail and the port sector. 

The Carmichael mines in Galilee, Australia, will produce about 25 million tonnes of coal a year in fiscal 2021. The group has invested close to $4.5 billion in the first phase, Adani said. It is planning to use the coal to fuel its Mundra and Udupi power plants. 

Adani also said he sees the ports business—one of the group’s most successful ventures so far—to meet its target of setting up 200 million tonnes of cargo handling capacity by the end of 2018, two years before schedule. 

So where did you say your news was coming from?


An interesting snippet from Australian Newspaper History Group, Newsletter, No 90, December 2016, pp.

90.1.3 China (1): Supplement to SMH and Age

On 23 September both the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age carried an eight-page supplement entitled China Watch, which contained China news and views.
The supplement clearly indicated that it had been prepared by the China Daily and that there had been no editorial involvement by the Sydney Morning Herald and Age.
This follows a precedent where in recent years the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age have regularly carried similar sponsored supplements containing news and views of Russia.

90.1.4 China (2): Australian media

Yan Xia, the editor of Vision China Times, a Chinese-language newspaper published in Australia, says a Beijing-based immigration agency was forced to pull an advertisement from his paper because it was regarded as an “anti-China” paper (Australian, 10 October 2016). The Ministry of State Security, the agency in charge of counter-intelligence and political security, had allegedly harassed the agent.

Yan Xia said, “Our lost client illustrates but one of the mounting pressures faced by independent Chinese media in Australia. Tensions have heightened over recent months, with Australia’s Chinese media under pressure to support President Xi Jinping and Beijing’s foreign policy. That pressure is part of China’s exercise in ‘soft power’. Broadly speaking, there are three types of Chinese-language media in Australia.

“The first consists of those that rely on the Chinese government and Chinese commercial ties for revenue. These outlets tend to echo and take their cues from state-run mouthpieces. The second group consists of media directed by religious groups aiming to expose China’s political, educational and socio-economic situation while promoting human rights and religious freedom. And the third is independent of political and religious influence. Its reporting is largely in line with the ideals of Western mainstream media and generally gives holistic views of Canberra’s policies and sentiments.

“Our outfit fits this last category. While independent media outlets are standard in the West, a one-party state cannot accept that media outlets “do not follow directives” and, by its reckoning, do damage to ‘national interests’. In China, national interests are synonyms for ‘the party’s interests’.

“In recent months it appears the Chinese government’s influence in Australia has become more open and, thus, more easily observed. For Chinese media platforms whose goal is to serve as the bridge between the Chinese community and the Australian mainstream, the challenge lies in reporting fairly and accurately on matters of conflict between the two countries. We choose to remain unyielding in our approach, reporting according to Western journalistic ideals. This has been tested during recent times, which have seen a deluge of articles examining issues that Beijing considers unpalatable.”