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Submit now to say NO to NAIF funding Adani

aerial shot of the Great Barrier Reef

NAIF is the government body that could provide Adani with a $1 billion taxpayer handout, despite the fact that Adani has a documented history of bribery, corruption and environmental destruction.

The Senate launched an inquiry into NAIF in June when the Australian Conservation Foundation revealed that there were close ties between the NAIF board and the coal industry.

Take a few minutes to make a submission to the Senate on the NAIF Inquiry below and tell them to clean up NAIF and #StopAdani!

Your submission will have a much greater impact if you add some personalised comments about why you oppose NAIF and the loan to Adani.

For those of you that are really keen, we've included an extras for experts section below with suggested talking points.

The Senate inquiry into the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) includes several terms of reference, which the Committee will be focusing on - referencing these will add weight to your submission.

Using resources compiled by a few of our very clever mates in the climate movement, we've put together some info that might come in handy when writing your submission.

  1. The adequacy and transparency of the NAIF's governance framework, including its project assessment and approval processes.

    There is limited information publicly available about the NAIF application and assessment process, including NAIF's Risk Appetite Statement.1 In fact, Senator Matt Canavan, who is responsible for the allocation of finance through NAIF, has previously said:

    "There is not really a formal submission or application process. There are discussions that occur between the board"2
    The NAIF has access to a significant amount of public money — $5 billion — to invest in infrastructure projects. However, the wording of the Investment Mandate leaves far too much room for the facility to allocate the funds as they please. "Public benefit" considerations are simply defined as projects that benefit "the broader economy and community".3

  2. The adequacy of the NAIF's Investment Mandate, risk appetite statement and public interest test in guiding decisions of the NAIF Board.

    The NAIF has granted preliminary approval for a $1 billion loan to finance a railway for Adani's Carmichael coal mine project. Based on reports lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the most likely owner of the railway is Atulya Resources Limited, which is a Cayman Islands tax haven-based company. It's unlikely that the public will never see any revenue raised as a result of Adani's coal mine, particularly taking into account the royalty concessions provided to them by the Queensland Government.4

    Adani's financial modelling for the mine has been discredited, and 22 banks globally have refused to finance the project.5 There is also a risk that the Carmichael coal mine and the rail project could become stranded assets, in which case, it's unlikely the loan will be repaid.6

  3. Processes used to appoint NAIF Board members, including assessment of potential conflicts of interest.

    The NAIF has a mandate to invest in all infrastructure projects. However, the board appointed Senator Matt Canavan has little expertise in communications, transport, education, research, or renewable energy.7

    They do, however, have plenty of experience in the mining industry. Five of seven board members have strong ties to the mining industry, and the CEO (Laurie Walker) previously held positions at ANZ and CommBank, where she led a team "working across project and corporate lending in oil & gas, natural resources."8

    Board member, Karla Way-McPhail, is the chief executive of two mining-related companies, and a donor to the Liberal National Party.9

    The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), which provides advice to NAIF, also has a heavily skewed track record of investing in large fossil fuel projects.10 And the NAIF Chairman Sharon Warburton is also on the board of Western Power, the state-owned electricity company, which operates two coal-fired power plants.11

  4. The status and role of state and territory governments under the NAIF, including any agreements between states and territories and the Federal Government.

    Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has stated the Queensland Government would not facilitate any loan funds from the NAIF.

    "We have determined as a Cabinet that any money that is sourced from the NAIF for the rail line needs to come directly from the Commonwealth to the proponent, to Adani particularly."12
    When assessing finance for infrastructure projects, it's important for NAIF to maintain their independence. It's equally important that the Federal Government refrain from exerting undue influence over the Queensland Government, given their obvious support for Adani's Carmichael coal mine.

References
  1. Don't be so naif Adani and Governance of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), The Australia Institute, March 2017
  2. Official Committee Hansard Senate Economics Legislation Committee Estimates, Thursday 20 October 2016
  3. Dirty deeds Done for cheap dirt, Australian Conservation Foundation, 19 May 2017
  4. Off track: Why NAIF can't approve the Carmichael Rail Project, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, December 2016
  5. Adani Mining Pty Ltd v Land Services of Coast and Country Inc & Ors [2015] QLC 48
  6. Off track: Why NAIF can't approve the Carmichael Rail Project, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, December 2016
  7. Dirty deeds Done for cheap dirt, Australian Conservation Foundation, 19 May 2017
  8. Off track: Why NAIF can't approve the Carmichael Rail Project, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, December 2016
  9. Conflicts of interest concerns over $900m Adani loan spark Senate estimates questions, ABC News, 2 June 2017
  10. Off track: Why NAIF can't approve the Carmichael Rail Project, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, December 2016
  11. Off track: Why NAIF can't approve the Carmichael Rail Project, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, December 2016
  12. Adani coal mine in doubt over Queensland Government refusal to facilitate federal loan, ABC News, 27 May 2017