Sunday, June 16, 2024

Australia is grateful to Adani Group, says its ex-PM

Australia’s former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has dismissed allegations of fraud by US based short seller Hindenburg Research against the Adani group as just that, allegations. He said the regulators will look into the matter, and as far as he is concerned, he is “grateful for the faith Adani group has shown in Australia.”

“It’s easy to make allegations. Just because something has been alleged, doesn’t make it true. My recollection of the principles of the common law is you’re innocent until proven guilty,” Mr Abbott told NDTV in an interview today.

“So if there is anything in it, I’m sure the regulators will look into it and let the cards fall where they may. But as far as I am concerned, I am grateful for the faith Adani group has shown in Australia,” he said, referring to Adani investments worth billions of dollars in his country.

He credited the Adani group for creating jobs and wealth in Australia with those investments, and also drew attention to the Narendra Modi government’s efforts at ensuring 24×7 power to millions in India with the help of Australian coal that Adani has imported without having to pay any tariffs.

“Well, obviously, as someone who very much supported Adani mining in central Queensland, am very delighted that Adani coal is now coming to India to help with electrification of the country because you can’t have a modern life without 24×7 electricity. That’s what Australian coal from Adani mining is helping to provide, as a result of that deal that our government finalised late last year,” Mr Abbott told NDTV, adding he is “very pleased” that Australian coal from Adani is now helping to provide 24×7 power to millions of people in India.

“Adani coal is coming to India with zero tariffs. Thanks to that deal that removed tariffs on Australian coal. Obviously, there’s more to energy markets than just coal. Adani, to his credit, is a renewable energy magnet as well as a fossil fuel energy magnet. These days it’s important to have both in the mix. And certainly if India is looking for energy security, Australia can help supply it,” said the former Australian Prime Minister, who is also a member of the UK government’s Board of Trade since 2020.

“I know as an Australian that the Adani group has invested billions of dollars in Australia, they have created jobs and wealth in Australia… I admire the way Adani and his team have shown perseverance in Australia. As for the claims that have been made about various market dealings and so on, I’m confident that if there is anything in them, it will be referred to the relevant regulator, who will deal with it because Adani is a company that operates under the law. India is a country that operates under the rule of law,” Mr Abbott said.

Adani Mining’s flagship development is the Carmichael mine and rail project, located some 300 km west of the Queensland coast. It is a thermal coal mine and rail project, which transports coal from the Galilee Basin to countries in Asia, including India, delivering thousands of jobs for Queenslanders in the process.

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