News that Adani is being investigated in India for allegedly siphoning off hundreds of millions of dollars to offshore tax havens should put the brakes on moves to finance a coal-rail line in Queensland with Australian taxpayers’ money, Environmental Justice Australia said.
Indian authorities are investigating allegations the Adani Group inflated invoices for an electricity project in India to shift huge sums of money into offshore bank accounts.
“Our research into the Adani Group’s legal compliance history and environmental record identified a number of serious issues that should be of concern to potential financiers,” said Environmental Justice Australia CEO Brendan Sydes.
“The new information that a complex web of companies with connections to the Adani Group has massively inflated prices of equipment reinforces existing concerns.
“This information should put the brakes on the proposal that the Australian public should finance Adani’s coal railway through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility,” he said.
EJA lawyer David Barnden said NAIF was compelled to take account of reputations when it considered loaning money to a project.
“With all that is known about Adani’s activities and how much the Carmichael project’s coal would add to the world’s climate problem, it is inconceivable that a loan for the project would satisfy NAIF’s requirement not to damage government reputations.
“Under its governing rules NAIF cannot act in a way that is likely to damage government reputations.
“NAIF has no option but to suspend consideration of any loan to the Galilee Basin railway project until investigations in India are resolved,” Mr Barnden said.