source url Study finds investment in transport for agriculture, water projects and disaster prevention would create 632 full-time jobs
site de rencontres biarritz Channeling a $900m taxpayer loan into infrastructure to support agriculture instead of Adani’s coal rail line would be a bigger boost for regional economies and create many more jobs, a new economic analysis says.
binäre optionen auf aktien A report by the University of Queensland economist John Quiggin found a public investment in transport for agriculture, water projects and disaster preparedness would generate 632 full-time jobs, compared with fewer than 350 direct jobs over the 10-year life of an infrastructure loan to Adani.
investimenti in derivati The report, commissioned by Farmers for Climate Action, comes as the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Naif) weighs up Adani’s application for a “bridging loan” to make up the gap in funding it is seeking from overseas lenders for one of the world’s largest coal projects.
source Quiggin argues a $900m Naif loan reportedly sought by Adani “carries substantial risk” to taxpayers.
His report notes the current predicted coal price around the Queensland mine’s slated opening in 2020-21, at $64 a tonne, falls well below the $100-a-tonne Adani likely needs to turn a profit.
Adani’s Australian executives have vowed the project, shifting up to 60m tonnes of coal a year from the Galilee basin via a 380km railway to Abbot Point port, will proceed with the company confident of clinching overseas financiers by early 2018.
But Quiggin said the most likely outcome was Adani eventually writing the project off “but potentially they could make a start on the rail line with our money to defer that”.
“I would be surprised [if the mine is built],” the Australian laureate fellow told Guardian Australia. “The most plausible story is they’re keeping it alive because of a combination of not wanting to bring a loss on to their books and hoping something will turn up but the odds are it won’t.”
The report concludes: “If, as appears likely, the project fails, any funds advanced towards railroad construction would be lost, with little hope of recovery from the Adani Group.”
If the project were completed, Adani’s unlimited, state-sanctioned access to groundwater posed a further threat to agricultural productivity, it says.
It says that rail construction jobs from an Adani loan would peak at 2,000 in 2019 but plummet to 66 a year by the time it operates from 2021, averaging 336 a year over the decade from 2018.
Quiggin’s report nominates seven regional Queensland projects he argues would be more productive and drive “better social and environmental outcomes” if funded by Naif.
The $18b state agricultural sector was a “proven performer” with better long-term prospects in global markets than thermal coal exports after the Paris climate agreement but was “currently constrained by a lack of finance”, the report says.
Quiggin’s alternative suggestions, which he says should be taken as a “starting point for more thorough investigation of agricultural investments” to benefit north Queensland, include $150m to improve market access roads for primary producers, which would create 150 jobs and lower freight costs.
Another $160m on an existing Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative program to cap bores and replace drains to stop wastage of artesian water on farms would create 68 jobs.
Suggestions of “soft infrastructure” investments include another $160m into natural resource management projects, including land generation, which would create 125 jobs, and $75m on a “permanent workforce” of 59 people to prepare contingency plans for natural disasters that disrupt farm transport.
Quiggin also suggests a $100m injection into north Queensland’s Tafe sector for agricultural skills training, creating 75 jobs.
He argues $100m on finance for individual farmers would create another 50 jobs – at $2m a job, still cheaper than the $2.7m a job from a public loan for Adani’s railway.
The report says its list of “possible investments” shows “such a program would match or indeed outperform the proposed Adani loan in all respects”.
“Investments of the type proposed here have been shown to generate social returns in excess of the market rate, with investment in agricultural research found to yield a rate of return to public investment in agriculture of 24%,” it says. “Support for North Queensland agriculture will underpin resilient and thriving rural communities, and increase the odds of young people staying in these communities.”Discover More