Adani has warned it will sue the Queensland government for $1.4 billion as well as future profits if it bans coal mining in the Galilee Basin.
State Greens MP Michael Berkman has put forward a retrospective bill to ban coal mining in the Galilee Basin.
He wants existing mine leases, including Adani’s, torn up and coal mining in the basin banned forever to ensure Australia can meet its targets under the Paris pact to fight global warming.
Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow has told public hearings on the bill it would be economically dangerous for Queensland.
“This bill would create enormous regulatory uncertainty and sovereign risk for Queensland, which would extend well beyond simply the Galilee Basin,” he told the hearing in Brisbane on Monday.
“It would have far-reaching impacts, and there would clearly be a legal recourse for what has already been spent and for future profits.”
He said not only would Adani seek compensation the government would face significant payments to third parties.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian McFarlane said the state government could not afford to ban coal mining.
“Without the mining royalty payouts, the Queensland government would be in the red to the tune of $4.6 billion,” Mr McFarlane said.
Mr Berkman said that if the entire basin was mined, this would increase the seaborne thermal coal market by 30 per cent.
“That’s going to drive down prices, that’s going to increase the uptake of coal, and it’s going to mean that we completely blow our Paris targets,” he told the ABC.
“That’s really what this is about. No amount of solar power, no amount of renewable energy of any type, can prevent the most catastrophic consequences of climate change if we dig up this volume of coal.”