Stop Adani Gold Coast act to prevent Steven Ciobo MP's #EFICfail
Local community group, Stop Adani Gold Coast, today visited Steven Ciobo MP’s Chevron Island electorate office to deliver local constituents’ letters of concern about the Adani mine and inviting the Minister to come clean about any plans he has to prop up Adani’s coal project using the Export Finance and Investment Corporation (EFIC).
The young and vibrant crew gave Mr Ciobo a friendly reminder that more than 7 out of 10 Queenslanders believe Adani should fund its own project rather than expect a taxpayer subsidy for its environmentally destructive and economically unviable coal mine. EFIC, Adani and Steven Ciobo Overview and Timeline below.
Stop Adani Gold Coast spokeswoman Briody Fahey said, “On behalf of the vast majority of Australians who are outraged at the idea that a billionaire miner would receive public funding, we urge Moncrief MP and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment to not make an “#EFICfail”.
“Last year Mr Ciobo told Stop Adani volunteers, in a private meeting, that climate change would put the Gold Coast underwater within 100 years, yet he’s working overtime to find a way to prop up Adani’s huge Carmichael coal mine which would be a ‘carbon bomb’.
“Today, we made it clear to Steven Ciobo that his local constituents are watching. He needs to stop the dodgy backroom deals and rule out propping up Adani through EFIC.
“Tourism operators on the Gold Coast and in North Queensland will disproportionately suffer the impacts of coral bleaching and more powerful natural disasters wrought by climate change.
“We barely see Mr Ciobo in our own city, yet he has flown across the world to meet with Adani. He seems to spend more time trying to help get this dirty coal mine off the ground than he does tackling important issues for his constituents.
“Mr Ciobo needs to put the interests of his own city, and the tourism industry he represents, ahead of the private interests of a foreign multi-billionaire,” Ms Fahey said.
For more information: Luna Derkley, Stop Adani Gold Coast 0414 158 522
Photos of the action will be uploaded here.
Overview - EFIC, Adani and Steven Ciobo
Last year, following significant community pressure, Adani’s application for a $1 billion publicly funded loan funded through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) was vetoed by the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Regardless, Adani are still desperate for the Australian public to take on some of the risk of its project, arranging several meetings with EFIC and Mr Ciobo. Since the NAIF loan was vetoed, Mr Ciobo has positioned EFIC to fund onshore resources projects by changing its Statement of Expectations (SOE).
EFIC is already financing at least one supplier to Adani through its Commercial Account, and at any time, Mr Ciobo could direct it to provide financial support to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine through the National Interest account, which has an unlimited budget.
A timeline - EFIC, Adani and Steven Ciobo
30 May 2016
The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Act 2016 was passed by parliament on 3 May, 2016 and its headquarters are set up in Cairns on 1 July, 2016. NAIF is assisted by EFIC through a ‘service level agreement’ to assess applications.
9 April, 2017
Minister for Tourism, Trade and Investment and Moncrieff MP, Steven Ciobo receives the first of four Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade briefings about Adani’s coal project on 9 April, 2017, including follow up reports on 14 and 25 August, and 13 September.
30 August, 2017
Ciobo travels to India to meet with Adani Enterprises Chairman Gautam Adani. It follows a meeting between Adani and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in April, which was also in India. While in India, Ciobo tells local media that Adani’s Carmichael coal mine is taking much longer than the government would have liked.
7 September, 2017
EFIC reports to Ciobo, and in September Ciobo issues it with a new Statement of Expectations (SOE) that allows it to fund onshore resource projects. “We’ve seen the Australian banking sector shirk from what I think are some very legitimate operations here in Australia,” he tells Sky News in October - it is implied that he is talking about Adani.
8 September, 2017
At the request of Adani, Ciobo and Barnaby Joyce write a joint letter to the Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China saying, “The Australian Government is strongly committed to the opening up of the Galilee Basin mineral province.”
20 November, 2017
The deputy head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ning Jizhe, meets with Trade Minister Steve Ciobo and Northern Development Minister Matt Canavan in Cairns to discuss investment co-operation in northern Australia - i.e. Adani’s mine and railway.
12 December, 2017
Annastacia Palaszczuk writes to the Prime Minister to veto Adani’s NAIF loan application.
18 January 2018
In a Senate Estimates, EFIC says it has been contacted by Adani a number of times regarding its projects in Australia. EFIC confirmed it then spoke to Ciobo's office regarding Adani's Australian projects, saying: "The nature of the discussions were exploratory.” Note - those discussions appear to have occurred in late 2017.
9 February, 2018
Rail company Aurizon withdraws its application for NAIF loan for a railway between the Galilee and Abbott Point.
Mid February, 2018
Representatives from Adani and EFIC met again to have a “chat” about what EFIC’s “function” is, according to EFIC chief executive Swati Dave.
4 March, 2018
At a Senate Estimates hearing, it is revealed that EFIC is funding one Australian business that is supplying Adani, and is considering applications from several others.