Thursday, 18 March 2021
New South Wales: Coal Industry
I, and also on behalf of Senators McKenzie, Davey, McDonald and McMahon, move:
That the Senate—
(i) the New South Wales (NSW) coal industry has coexisted with the Hunter Valley community for over 200 years, supporting the local community and providing the essential ingredients for cheap, reliable power, strong domestic manufacturing, and a thriving energy export industry,
(ii) many mines have commenced and closed during this time, with companies rehabilitating the land to a productive state for agricultural and native ecosystems, and
(iii) mining and agriculture can coexist, with land use trials noting the benefits for cattle grazing on rehabilitated land compared with existing pasture; and
(b) acknowledges the importance of the NSW coal industry for ensuring the reliability of the national energy market and providing reliable energy for domestic manufacturing.
The Greens oppose this motion. Another day, another motion from the National Party spruiking coal. They are a broken record. The Hunter Valley community deserves better than to be wheeled out as fodder for the stunts by the Nationals, the party of the coal lobby. The people of the Hunter Valley know there is no future in coal. They know the only reliable thing about coal is that it will deepen the climate crisis, it will poison land, water and air and it will end up a stranded asset. The community isn't interested in the Nationals' love letters to the coal industry. They want to see a coherent plan for a clean, healthy, jobs-rich future where no-one is left behind in a just transition away from coal.