The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Economic Committee’s Inquiry into the governance and operation of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
Climate & Energy Program
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee regarding the inquiry into the Environment and Infrastructure Legislation Amendment (Stop Adani) Bill 2017 (the Bill).
Our submission notes the merits of the Bill’s proposed amendments, in relation to the Adani coal mine but also more broadly, as the new tests would apply to any NAIF or EPBC assessments. We also note the substantial concerns about Adani’s corporate history, which would come under closer legal consideration in light of the new tests.
The Palaszczuk Government risks a voter backlash as it breaks a clear election promise which ruled out subsidising the Adani coal project, according to a new report from The Australia Institute.
First, the Queensland government is ultimately responsible for a $1bn subsidised loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF). Secondly, the Queensland government has offered Adani a royalty ‘deferment’, reportedly worth hundreds of millions.
“The Queensland government plans to give two different subsidised loans, breaking its election promise - twice over,” said report author Tom Swann, researcher with The Australia Institute.
The Palaszczuk government’s special royalty deal with Adani remains secret after Treasury blocked a Right to Information request. 2000 pages relating to the ‘clear’ and ‘transparent’ royalty framework were almost entirely redacted. Public servants expressed concerns about analysing the deal after it has been offered.
The Queensland Treasury has refused to release the royalty subsidy deal with Adani, requested under Right to Information (RTI).
The RTI request sought the deal with Adani and the new “transparent” royalties framework under which the deal was offered.
This opinion piece was first published in the Canberra Times on 29 July 2017.
The final season of Game of Thrones is back and winter is coming for House Turnbull.
The failure of the federal government on energy policy is driving up emissions, driving up energy prices, stalling investment and its harming consumers. And hasn’t it been a cold winter. Unless the Turnbull government can pull energy policy out of the bog Tony Abbott created soon, no amount of blaming the states or renewables is going to save him.
The Australia Institute has released a report Electricity Costs which finds that electricity prices have increased at three times the rate of CPI. The report finds that companies have been ‘gold-plating’ financial assets and passing those costs onto consumers.
[Full report see attachment below]
“All in all we find that the additional direct and indirect charges are likely to be of the order of $404 to $502 per household per annum,” said author of the report, Senior Fellow David Richardson.
Imagine if petrol prices went up from $1.29/litre to $180/litre for brief parts of the day on a few days of the year. Worse still, imagine drivers had no way of knowing what price they were paying until after they’d filled up.
[This article was first published by Crikey here]
The Australia Institute has released new research showing that the development of Adani and other Galilee basin mines would reduce NSW coal royalties by over $10 billion to 2035.
[Full report in PDF below]
The Institute’s calculations are based on analysis by well-known coal analysts Wood Mackenzie, commissioned by the Port of Newcastle, the world’s largest coal port. Wood Mackenzie estimate the Galilee Basin could reduce coal prices by 25% and cut NSW coal exports by 80 million tonnes per year.
“It’s basic economics that a large new subsidised coal supply will push down prices and push unsubsidised mines out of production,” said report author Rod Campbell.
New report identifies ‘virtual power plants’ could provide energy security faster and cheaper than new power stations, echoing parts of the Finkel review that have been largely ignored.
“Australian governments can fight all they like over what new generation capacity to build. Regardless of who wins, none of it will be built for years, while the energy security crisis will be back next summer,” said Australia Institute strategist and report author, Dan Cass.
[Full report see PDF below]
Instead, demand management can be rolled out rapidly. As the Finkel review said.
Australian governments are proposing to fund and build billions of dollars’ worth of new electricity generation capacity as the solution to our energy security crisis
Regardless of whether investments like Snowy 2.0 or ideas for ‘clean’ coal power stations go ahead, these supply-side solutions will require many years to build and will have no impact on security of supply next summer (2017-18).
Luckily, there are demand-side solutions that use energy more wisely, which could potentially secure hundreds of MW of supply headroom this year.