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Claims mining job numbers inflated by 300%

By Mark Beale

GALILEE Basin job figures have been inflated by 300%, two activist groups have claimed in a complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

But miner Adani dismissed the complaint as “desperate” while the State Government stood by the figures which a spokeswoman said came from the Environmental Impact Statement.

Meanwhile, Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Labor had always used the figure in context.

Activist group GetUp and think tank the Australia Institute, which regularly publishes reports critical of the coal industry, claim advertisements from miner Adani claiming the 27,000 jobs the coal basin’s development would create had been hugely “inflated” and were misleading.

The Australia Institute executive director Dr Richard Denniss said the models used to create the job figures had been described as “biased” by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“The whole justification for this project has been job creation claims, but Queensland politicians are using the claims regardless, backed by TV ads repeating the false figures,” Dr Denniss said.

“There are big problems with these models which assume there is unlimited labour in the economy and ignore the negative impacts of large mining projects on other mining projects and other industries like agriculture and manufacturing.”

GetUp senior campaigner Sam Regester said Premier Campbell Newman and miner Adani, whose ads make the claims, were misleading the public and investors about the mine.

“Mr Newman’s promising the people of Queensland jobs that simply don’t exist and he needs to be held accountable,” Mr Regester said.

“He’s flogging a dead horse with a make-believe whip – the project doesn’t make sense and they’re misleading the public to justify it.”

However, an Adani spokesman dismissed the complaint as an attempt to stop the development occurring altogether.

“This is an increasingly desperate and hysterical activist-driven attempt to deny our state the significant and lasting benefits that projects like Adani’s bring to Queensland,” he said.

“Three days out from an election, we’ve got southerners who aren’t on the ballot paper running an anti-jobs, anti-mining and anti-facts scare campaign for the Greens.

“These activists in Canberra and Sydney will say and do anything to prevent the 10,000 jobs, and $22 billion in taxes and royalties our projects will deliver into frontline services in our state from going ahead.”

Similarly a State Government spokeswoman said the figures had been drawn from independent reports.

“Job figures for the Galilee Basin are drawn from Environmental Impact Statements for approved mines,” he said.

“EIS’s are used by all governments to estimate jobs from proposed tourism, agricultural and resource projects.

“These figures state approved resource projects in the Galilee could create up to 28,000 new construction and operational jobs.”

Labor’s Mr Pitt said the 28,000 figure used by the LNP was for jobs created if every single Galilee mine and rail project went ahead.

“The Coordinator-General has set out in his report on the Adani project that it will create 3920 ongoing jobs – not 28,000,” Mr Pitt said.

He said Labor were committed to developing the Galilee Bain but were concerned about using taxpayers’ money on the Adani rail line which could be possibly as high as $450 million.

– APN NEWSDESK

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