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Media Releases · Energy & Climate

Economist for Acland coal mine admits inflated job figures

01 April, 2016

In the Qld Land Court today an expert witness for the New Acland Coal mine Stage 3 expansion has admitted that job figures for the project are far lower than initially forecast

In the Qld Land Court today an expert witness for the New Acland Coal mine Stage 3 expansion, an open cut mine which will ruin prime agricultural land as well as risk precious groundwater and community health, has admitted that job figures for the project are far lower than initially forecast, echoing his previous court admission in 2015 that Adani’s Carmichael mine job figures were inflated, and that the mine would shrink local employment in agricultural industries.

CEO of EDO Qld, representing Oakey Coal Action Alliance, Jo-Anne Bragg, in court today, said, “It seems today is both Groundhog Day and April Fool’s Day, but we are not fooled. Under cross-examination, economics expert Dr Jerome Fahrer for New Acland Coal admitted that the company’s job claims are exaggerated, as he did during the 2015 Carmichael mine court challenge, and that the mine would actually damage local employment in the areas of crops and livestock.

“Scrutiny of job claims in court has seen the initial claims in the EIS of on average 2,953 jobs pa plummet to approximately 430 in written evidence submitted to court - a mere 15 per cent of the workforce originally predicted. Then just this morning Dr Fahrer upped the figure again to 680 jobs, which is still only less than a quarter of the job numbers originally claimed.

“Dr Fahrer also reflected that projects such as the Acland mine expansion are not really about jobs, rather about income and production.

“These kind of startling admissions around job creation highlight the behaviour of mining companies in pumping up the reported benefits of a project. The revelation is exactly why coal affected communities expend their precious time and money pursuing court action.

“It was only last year that Dr Jerome Fahrer burst the bubble on the claimed job benefits of another big Queensland project, Adani’s Carmichael mine, conceding in court that the company’s predicted 10,000 job figure was actually a mere 1,464 net.

“Cross-examination by barrister Saul Holt QC will continue over the economic modelling used to estimate state royalties and other supposed economic benefits of the open cut mine expansion,” Ms Bragg said.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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