Adani’s economic outlook 'makes no sense'

AN economist has slammed mining giant Adani and its prediction that its coal from Carmichael Mine will be better than any other coal on the market.

Economist Richard Denniss gave evidence in the Queensland Land Court on Tuesday which criticised an Adani economist's expectation on how the Carmichael Mine would affect the coal market.

Barrister Saul Holt, who is representing environmental group Coast and Country in its legal battle against Adani, asked Dr Denniss's thoughts on a report and evidence given by Adani economist Dr Jerome Fahrer, which outlines the mine's projected economic impact.

Dr Denniss said Dr Fahrer's modelling did not make sense.

"If a first year economics student told you that they thought that Adani coal from Queensland had unique special attributes that traded differently in a world coal market, you would fail them," Dr Denniss said bluntly.

"No one is looking around for luxury coal in the hope of paying a premium for it.

"I think it's remarkable to suggest that you would model the coal market in such a way that there is special Adani coal with unique attributes that someone wants to buy."

The Carmichael Mine's effect on wages across Queensland was also discussed during the court case on Tuesday in the Queensland Land Court.

"The labour market is really complicated," Dr Dennis explained.

"But when we say things like building a new mine will create 10,000 jobs, and these claims get made all the time by proponents of large projects, the first thing an honest economist asks themselves is where would 10,000 skilled workers come from?"

Dr Denniss pointed out a discrepancy in Dr Fahrer's economic report.

"It is interesting because he says on the one hand that the mine is really quite small, won't create a lot of jobs at a national level... But it does in his model actually drive up wages more around Queensland in surprising sectors, like retail.

"If you think that building a mine at Carmichael will increase retail wages in Brisbane, and if you think higher retail wages will attract more people to work in retail, then his assumptions are OK.

"But I think that's very unlikely. I think the effects of wages are not nearly as broad as he suggested."


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