Boost of confidence for Adani from Chief Economist
ADANI'S Carmichael mine has been included in forward thermal coal export projections by one of the Federal Government's top economists for the first time.
It comes as the quarterly update by chief economist for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Mark Cully, to be released today, revealed resources and energy export earnings are expected to reach a record high of $278 billion this financial year, an increase of more than $50 billion.
Australia's thermal coal export earnings are also forecast to grow by 16 per cent in 2018/19, reaching a record $27 billion, due to strong spot and contract prices.
Mr Cully has predicted thermal coal export volumes will grow 10 per cent between 2018/19 and 2023/24 to 225 million tonnes, owing in part to the ramp-up of several projects including the Carmichael mine. This is the first time Adani's project has been included in the quarterly report.
Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said this was positive news for North Queensland.
"The Government's advice is always made on the basis of commitments made by resources companies," he said.
"Adani has committed to this project and that is reflected on this quarter's numbers.
"That's positive news for North Queensland but it will only come about if State and Federal governments get behind these projects."
Adani chief executive Lucas Dow has repeatedly stated work at the Carmichael mine could begin immediately once authorities have signed off on final environmental approvals but it's being held up by uncertainty at the State Government's end.
Mr Canavan said the results reinforced the importance of Australia's mineral and resource exports to the national economy.
"The living standards of Australians rely in large part on maintaining a strong resources sector," he said.
"Even if you don't work in resources, the revenue that the industry brings in helps pay for schools, hospitals and other services.
"Surging tax revenues from the resource industry have helped bring our budget back into balance and export dollars from coal, iron and gas help increase our dollar's value, increasing the buying power of all Australian consumers."
Mr Cully's report also found the monsoon in North Queensland in January and February impacted on port operations, pushing up the price of metallurgical coal.