Independent MPs launch adjustment strategy for coal mining-affected communities in NSW

Picture: Brendan Esposito.
Picture: Brendan Esposito.

A plan by NSW independent MPs Alex Greenwich, Joe McGirr and Greg Piper to introduce an adjustment strategy for coal mining-affected communities was launched on Sunday.

The plan seeks to diversify regional coal dependent economies that are likely to be impacted by a falling demand for thermal coal 

The MPs, who have written to the Premier and Opposition Leader about the plan, have also called for the establishment of a transition authority.

"Change is happening and we need a transition plan for communities whose economies rely on coal," Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper said.

"When even mining companies admit climate change is real and start to adjust, surely it’s time for government action to prepare our economy."

​Lock the Gate spokesperson Georgina Woods welcomed the plan.

“The Weathering the Storm report, released last month, showed the dire situation coal mining communities in the Hunter Valley will find themselves in if the world meets its Paris Agreement goals and we are not prepared,” she said.

Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper. Picture: David Stewart

Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper. Picture: David Stewart

“We are already seeing big changes in the coal industry. Last week mining giant Glencore announced a cap on coal volumes due to investors’ concerns about climate change.

Ms Wood said the recent Land and Environment Court decision to reject the Rocky Hill mine near Gloucester, partially on the grounds the project would add to carbon emissions, was further evidence change is inevitable.”

“Having most of the cross-bench of NSW Legislative Assembly prioritising this issue is critically important for the Hunter region and the whole state and we welcome the Greens and Independents’ contribution," she said.

Bulga resident Rob McLaughlin said Singleton needed support to prepare for change. “This is a vital policy from the NSW independents who have responded to the needs of communities like ours," he said.

The Greens have called for a levy on the coal industry to fund transition policies.

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