Mining investment crossroads – Editorial (The Australian – February 12, 2018)

The Greens’ irrationality in regard to energy production and mining is beyond redemption. The Labor Party, however, which purports to be the workers’ party, should heed Resources Minister Matt Canavan’s pertinent warning that Australia’s energy markets in Asia are under threat as the US ramps up coal and gas exports.

The US, a net energy importer for 40 years, will be a net exporter by 2022 after ending what Donald Trump branded in his State of the Union address “the war on beautiful, clean coal’’ . The US exports shale gas to Japan and Asian buyers are interested in US coal.

Influenced by anti-fossil fuel activists, especially in the Melbourne seat of Batman where it is struggling to hold off the Greens, Labor is casting increasing doubt over the $16.5 billion Adani coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. Labor has also barred new gas developments in several states.

Not unreasonably, Adani Australia chief executive Jayakumar Jana¬karaj has called for consistency and predictability in investment policy.

Many of the 12 per cent of unemployed workers in the Queensland outback and those unemployed in Townsville and their families will be saddened by the decision of rail freight company Aurizon to drop its bid for a federal concessional loan to build a common-user rail line that would have served Adani’s Carmichael mine.

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