Port of Newcastle executive under fire for breaking ranks with mining industry over Adani

Adani threatens Hunter jobs Warnings: Gardior The Infrastructure Fund general manager investments Jonathan van Rooyen had some strong advice for the n Government on Adani coal subsidy plans.

Familiar: The Port of Newcastle, which is threatened by the Adani coal project.

Overview: The Port of Newcastle was the subject of a 99-year lease in 2014.

Future: Coal is loaded at night at Newcastle Port.

Large: The world’s largest coal port is at risk if Adani in Queensland goes ahead, the Federal Government has been warned.

Expanses: Bengalla coal mine in the Hunter. One of a large number of existing Hunter coal projects.

Criticism: The Institute economist Rod Campbell has warned about the impact of Adani on Hunter coal mines since 2014.

TweetFacebookThere is no avoiding the simple mathematics that if Turnbull succeeds in pushing between 25 million and 60 million tonnes of subsidised new coal into a flat world market the volume of coal mined and exported from the Hunter and Illawarra will decline.

Port of Newcastle executive Jonathan van RooyenNewcastle Herald questions about Mr van Rooyen’s warnings, and the NSW Minerals Council said “none of our member companies have approached Steve (Galilee) with concern about this”.

In 2015 senior Glencore coal division executive Peter Freyberg criticised government subsidies to Adani, saying “Bringing on additional tonnes with the aid of taxpayer money would materially increase the risk to existing coal operations”.

“We are strong believers that if a project can’t get away on its economic merits, it shouldn’t be developed,” Mr Freyberg said.

Institute economist Rod Campbell first warned about Adani’sglobal market distortion in 2014, and in a paper this week warned Adani would reduce thermal coal prices by 4 per cent, while the total Galilee Basin coal development could reduce coal prices by nearly 30 per cent.

Institute economist Rod Campbell

“The subsidised development of the Adani mine represents a threat not just to Newcastle Port but to all mines in the Hunter. With flat world demand, subsidising a large amount of new supply is economic madness,” Mr Cambpell said.

“It’s nice to have the Port onside, but what’s really needed is for the NSW Government and NSW Minerals Council to dotheir jobs and startsticking up for the interests of NSW and its coal industry. Both are too afraid of upsetting their mates in Canberra or Queensland and would prefer to stick their heads in the sand.”

Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon describedMr van Rooyen as “absolutely correct” about his warnings about the impact of Adani on the Hunter coal industry.

“Malcolm Turnbull has thrown any economic credibility he may have once had out the window. On a number of fronts he’s sending all the wrong messages to investors,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“Adani should be able to stand on its own two feet and any government subsidisation of the project will be a blow to the Hunter region.”

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