More taxpayer’s bailouts for Griffin Coal and more money spent on consultants with no end in sight

Oct 13, 2023 | State News, Steve Thomas MLC

Further questions in Parliament this week have identified even more mismanagement of the Western Australian coalfields by the Cook Labor Government and its ongoing financial disaster at the insolvent Griffin Coal according to the Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas.

“This week’s update finds that another $3.2 million of taxpayer’s money has been handed out to the insolvent Griffin Coal in September to fund “the ongoing operations of the mine….that were not covered by revenue generated”, bringing the total of handouts this year to $30.5 million” Dr Thomas said.

“This money is going to an insolvent company with debts of $1.5 billion and no capacity to pay it back, so it is $30 million down the drain so far with no cap on how much more state money will be handed over.

“We also leant this week that on top of the $526,869 already acknowledged by the Government as contracted or paid to consultants KPMG and Ad Astra, and the $626,143.96 paid to Sternship Advisers for advice on Griffin Coal, the Government has also paid another consulting firm for advice on Griffin” Dr Thomas said.

“Preston consulting was paid $207,757 for a report on the risks faced by the Government if they have to pick up the costs of rehabilitation at Griffin mine sites.

“If the current company goes under, it will literally leave a massive hole that is supposed to be rehabilitated. The total cost of rehabilitation on Griffin sites could run into hundreds of millions of dollars and the taxpayers of this state may also have to pick up this cost.

“The Government needs to come clean on the advice they have received on this massive potential risk.

Dr Thomas said that in a further display of mismanagement the Government can give no certainty over how much more they will spend on consultants to try to fix the mess they find themselves in.

“The Cook Government has now paid or committed $1.36 million for consultant’s advice on Griffin, with no end in sight.

“To date it appears that not one of the four highly paid advisory companies have provided a solution to the problem, especially how long the subsidies will need to go on for, or how much it will ultimately cost.

“As the Government has previously admitted, they are just propping up this foreign owned, insolvent company by paying the difference between income and costs” Dr Thomas said.