Wednesday, 22 March 2017
That the Senate—
(a) notes that the Government has had no choice but to walk away from funding coal-fired power stations as they now look to invest in storage technologies to support the unstoppable potential of clean energy;
(b) acknowledges that thermal coal is in structural decline and has no long-term future in Australia; and
(c) urges the Government to implement a just transition plan for the benefit of coal workers, before it is too late.
Coal is an important part of Australia's energy mix, comprising around 63 per cent of our electricity generation, and coal will continue to be a mainstay of Australia's base load power generation. Coal mining is a key contributor to the Australian economy and creates significant employment opportunities and economic activity. In 2015-16 the coal industry was Australia's second-largest export earner with exports worth over $34 billion. This figure is expected to rise to $40 billion for 2016-17.
The coalition government's priority is energy security and affordability. We are taking action to ensure this. In meeting our emissions targets, we will not compromise energy security. That is why we are taking a technology neutral non-ideological approach where coal and gas, as base load power sources, have an important role to play.