PM Malcolm Turnbull appears to be preparing to give multinational mining company Adani $1 billion of Australian taxpayers’ money to fund a coal-carting railway line from the Galilee Basin to the Great Barrier Reef coast.

Media reports today say up to $1 billion of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has been earmarked for the project.

“It seems Prime Minister Turnbull is preparing to put the interests of big polluters ahead of the interests of the Australian people and misuse a billion dollars of public money to support the mega-polluting Carmichael coal project,” said ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.

“This would be a serious misuse of public money, a breach of previous assurances and would turn NAIF into the ‘Dirty Energy Finance Corporation’.

“Adani has a mining licence, but no social licence.

“Any investment in coal in the 21st Century is a dud investment. Australians will lose this money and it will fund the death of the much-loved Great Barrier Reef.

“The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is supposed to fund projects that are in the public interest, not coal mines that will create more reef-wrecking climate pollution and jeopardise up to 70,000 jobs that rely on a healthy Great Barrier Reef.

“The NAIF board must release the assessment documents that show how it has determined the environmental and social benefits of this project.

“The government wouldn’t fund SPC Ardmona or the car industry, but it appears willing to fund a billionaire coal company with a dubious environmental record.”

In India, Adani has faced numerous accusations of damaging the environment and failing to comply with regulations and laws.

“If Adani is unable to fund the mine, Australia will be left with a railway to nowhere and an unpaid billion dollar loan,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

“Prime Minister Turnbull can choose to entrench Australia’s dependence on a dirty, declining industry or protect the reef and steer us to a brighter, cleaner future.”

The Australian Conservation Foundation and other groups will rally in Melbourne on Monday morning ahead of Mr Turnbull’s meeting with Adani boss Gautam Adani.

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.