Thursday 20th Feb, 2020

Canavan bitter after Aurecon severs ties with Adani

Coal. Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Federal resources minister Matt Canavan has lambasted engineer Aurecon’s decision to cut ties with Adani and its controversial mine and rail project, following significant pressure from environmental activists.

Adani Australia on August 21 said Aurecon had given notice of its intentions to end its working association with the energy giant.

Aurecon has worked as an engineer on the Abbot Point coal terminal for 20 years, which is now owned by Adani. The terminal is the planned export site for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and rail project.

Aurecon’s decision comes after increased pressure from environmental groups who, having failed to halt the development of the Carmichael Project in the courts, have begun to campaign against Adani’s key contractors.

Speaking at a resources conference after Adani confirmed the engineer was cutting ties, Minister Canavan reportedly labelled the decision “weak as piss,” and said Aurecon had failed to “stand up to a bunch of hippies”.

Adani was more civil in its response, saying it was “surprised” by the decision, but would have no trouble finding a new partner for the work Aurecon had left on the table.

“We are already in conversations with other businesses and a number of companies have eagerly expressed their interest in taking up this portfolio of work, along with other current opportunities to work with our Australian port business, the Carmichael Project, and our renewables business,” a spokesperson said.

“There has been a concerted campaign by extremists against our Carmichael Project and businesses that partner with us. It has not succeeded, and construction of the Carmichael Project is well and truly underway.”

The Carmichael Project incorporates a 10 million tonne per annum open cut thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin, and a new, 200-kilometre narrow gauge rail line to connect it to Aurizon’s Central Queensland Coal Network.

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