Indian mining group Adani says groups opposed to its Queensland coal mine development are using “vicious personal attacks” to push their agenda.
Chairman Gautam Adani told a forum in New Delhi on Friday resistance to the project in the Galilee Basin has been intense.
“In recent years our project has faced intense resistance abetted by some international NGOs and competitors who have turned to vicious personal attacks and used the press to their advantage,” Mr Adani said, according to Indian business news website Livemint.
The multi-billion dollar mine has faced strong opposition from environmental groups and the Australian Greens.
Mr Adani told the forum convened for commerce students it was possible to support both coal and renewable energy sources.
“The fact is that renewable energy technologies are not currently ready to provide uninterrupted base load power,” he said.
“The fact is that it is our responsibility to get electricity to the Indian child who needs to light that single bulb to educate himself.”
Last week, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he was “increasingly sceptical” of the project, which is being supported by Queensland’s Labor government.
Mr Shorten’s spotlight on the mine is likely to intensify as Labor tries to fight off the Greens in the up-coming by-election for the marginal federal seat of Batman in Melbourne’s inner north.
Labor’s candidate for Batman, union leader Ged Kearney, told reporters last week she didn’t think the Adani mine would eventually go ahead.
“Personally, I really can’t see Adani going ahead,” she said.
“I know that Adani are not good employers. They don’t treat their employees very well. They don’t care about the impact on communities around the world where they work.”