2 March, 2017
Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph
THE Greens are planning to scrap NSW’s $25 billion coal industry with a new policy that will destroy tens of thousands of mining jobs, crush industry and potentially take the entire state back to the dark ages, with little or no electricity.
Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natalie and NSW MP Jeremy Buckingham will be in Newcastle — the state’s mining heartland — Friday to announce their plan to phase out all thermal coal mining in NSW by 2027.
Thermal coal is burned in power stations to make electricity here and abroad. NSW coal exports to 16 countries were worth $13.2 billion last year, and the industry spends about $11 billion a year on wages and with suppliers.
The industry employs 20,000 people directly in NSW and generates more than $1 billion a year in royalties.
Under the Greens’ plan, mining companies operating in NSW would be stripped of all thermal coal licences and be forced to enter auctions for the right to mine one billion tonnes of coal in ever-decreasing amounts up until 2027.
The state is due to mine two billion tonnes of coal over that period, and far more beyond.
The Greens say the measures are “drastic” but necessary to prevent climate change.
“We have run out of time. We are teetering on the edge of disaster and must act now or we will lock in catastrophic levels of global warming,” Mr Buckingham said.
Energy Minister Don Harwin said: “These policies proposed by the Greens would threaten our energy security and our communities.
“There’s a sensible way to address climate change while creating new jobs, and that’s our approach.”
Minerals Council boss Stephen Galilee described the policy as a plan for “jobs gone and lights out across the state — it’s a recipe for economic chaos that would send NSW into recession if not depression.”