A $1 billion subsidised loan to the Adani coal project under consideration by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) could not be expected to be paid back, an analysis carried out for the Australian Conservation Foundation has found.

The assessment, conducted by industry consultants ACIL Allen, finds that given the widely-held pessimism about the future of coal it is not clear how the NAIF would meet its government mandate to expect full repayment with interest under any loan to Adani.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s (ACF) economist Matt Rose said the findings further highlighted that a properly constituted NAIF should instead be investing in clean energy and other future-facing projects, rather than any more outdated dirty energy that is driving global warming.

“Handing out $1 billion of public money to Adani would be throwing good money after bad, all in the name of cooking the planet,” Mr Rose said.

“The opportunities to strengthen communities across Northern Australia are immense. A properly designed and accountable Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility could be investing in clean energy, higher education, telecommunications and loads of other critical infrastructure, rather than this white elephant that would ultimately be a disaster for the environment.”

The ACIL Allen analysis found there was significant doubts over the economic justification for any loan to Adani and that handing the project public money would be transferring high risk onto Australians.

The ACIL Allen analysis forms part of the ACF’s submission to the Senate inquiry into the governance and operation of the NAIF.

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