Sydney, December 6: Australia’s biggest international investors, the India-based conglomerate Adani Group has promised not to employ overseas skilled workers on Australia’s 457-category temporary visas for its mega coal mine project, the $21 billion Gaililee Basin coal mine in Queensland.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who met Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani on Tuesday in Townsville, the project’s regional headquarters, said she received “an ironclad guarantee from Adani that there will be no 457 visas as part of the workforce for this major project“, the AAP reported.

Adani, which is an Indian listed company, is 75 per cent owned by the Adani family.

The guarantee, as part of the “guarantee of a Queensland First policy for jobs,” will also cover the construction phase of the mine.

“The life of this project will be anywhere between 50 and 60 years. That means generational jobs. That means that you can work on this project and your son or daughter may have the opportunity to also work on this project,” she said.

Australian or overseas employers commonly use the 457 visa to sponsor skilled overseas workers to work in Australia temporarily.

The Carmichael mine in central Queensland, set to be Australia’s largest, will generate about 10,000 jobs over its lifespan of 50-60 years, according to the company.

The 16.5-billion-Australian-dollar ($12.3-billion) project includes a rail link stretching nearly 400 km to a bulk port facility and five regional towns providing support services, with construction rolling out next year.

“Our mining contractors, and the rail and port construction contractors, will be the major employers during the construction and operational stages,” Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said Tuesday. This is a significant commitment by Adani group for regional Queensland where the Carmichael mine and associated projects will generate 10,000 jobs directly and indirectly.

It is expected that each of the regional centres will benefit from the Carmichael projects, if the commitment is fully met.

Prior to this, Adani Group has notably hired overseas workers on short-stay visas to its $10 billion coal project on three-month restricted visas and also pursued enterprise migration agreement to bring in foreign workers.

Meanwhile, both Labor and Liberals in Canberra have not supported Queensland’s call for the Commonwealth to help finance a rail line, linking the proposed Adani mine to the Abbott Point port in Northern Queensland.

Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj , said that the concessional loan of up to $1 billion would be ‘very welcome’.

Vir Rajendra

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