Could be good news on both sides of the Tasman:
THE first of more than 4000 jobs and $7 billion in investment will begin flowing to Queensland within months when Indian Company Adani starts construction on the Carmichael megamine in Central Queensland.
Adani Australian boss Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the company was ready to get the first boots on the ground as soon as federal approval was granted for the dredging program and its board of directors give the green light.
The more than $7 billion it needs will not be an issue, according to Mr Janakaraj.
This is the first time the company has given a start date for development after five years of pushing through the approval process at Carmichael and Abbot Point.
“We have placed orders, we are just waiting to give the notice to proceed for people to hit the ground,’’ Mr Janakaraj said.
“We will start early works in line with those dredging approvals. We are working with the Government and we think we’ll get them on time because that is critical. As soon as we get dredging approval a financial investment decision is there.’’
He said “absolutely, work on the ground’’ will start soon after that.
“We are not talking after two years or long term. It’s near term and it’s a good opportunity to capitalise.’’
The early construction works of what will be Australia’s biggest coal mine will generate about 400 jobs, but 4150 jobs are predicted in construction and another 3800 when the mine starts operating in 2017.
Downer has already been awarded the $2 billion construction contract if Adani commits.
The jobs would effectively compensate for almost half the 10,000 jobs lost in the coal industry since the boom ended, but almost all the jobs at Carmichael mine will be fly-in, fly-out because the closest town, Clermont, is 160km away.
Mr Janakaraj said a large area of central and northern Queensland would get an economic benefit, and almost all the workers would be sourced from Queensland where unemployment has been rising. None of the jobs would go to foreign workers.
Both sides of politics have supported the project and industry sources expect it to pass regulatory hurdles.