The Australian Coal Association has released the results of an independent study into the impact of the carbon tax on the nation’s black coal mines.
John Pegler, ACA chairman, said the tax may force the closure of 17% of black coal mines, adding that now is not the time to introduce a carbon tax.
“This report sounds the final warning to the Federal Parliament of the consequences of the carbon tax, with only two days before the vote on the carbon tax, it is not too late to change course.
“This tax will put at risk more than 21 000 jobs within the decade in coal mining and related businesses. We estimate that 15 black coal mines in NSW could close prematurely and six in Queensland,” Pegler said.
The report comes as the International Monetary Fund say Australia should expand the mining and carbon tax to ensure it avoids being caught up in another global downturn.
However, Pegler said that the increase in the cost base of projects in Australia will quickly render the sector uncompetitive globally and drive investment offshore.
It will also effect employment, “with an estimated 27% of employment in coal mining projects under threat”.
Pegler went on to say “this impact is in the face of a clear understanding that the loss of these jobs will not result in a reduction in global greenhouse gases from coal mining because production from these mine closures will shift offshore to Australia’s competitors”.
He put the cost of the carbon tax to the coal mining industry at around $18 billion within the first ten years.
However the Greens have labelled this report part of a scaremongering campaign.
“With more evidence about what will happen in Australia if we fail to act on the warnings of climate scientists, it is time to get started with that action, and that is what the Clean Energy Future bills will do,” Australian Greens deputy leader, Christine Milne, said.
“At the same time, the latest scare-mongering and hysteria from the coal industry, without any evidence, is completely unwarranted and stands in stark contrast to the scientific evidence.”