Anti-CPRS campaigners risk losing support

The Australian coal industry's biggest lobby groups risk losing the support of thousands of coal industry employees as they push to have the Federal Government's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme amended in their favour.

The Australian coal industry’s biggest lobby groups, including the Australian Coal Association (ACA), risk losing the support of thousands of coal industry employees in the push to have the Federal Government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) amended in their favour.

The ACA has been accused of taking advantage of coal workers in their concerted campaign against Government efforts to tackle climate change.

Yesterday, Newcastle coalmine workers dismissed the ACA’s claims that action on climate change would cost regional jobs, pointing out that employment in the mining sector is expected to grow strongly over the next decade.

CFMEU mining and energy division National President Tony Maher said the ACA has been blatantly dishonest when talking about the impact of climate change on mining jobs in regional NSW.

“Industry research predicts mining jobs will increase by 60% on 2006-07 levels in NSW by 2030 under the Federal Government’s plan for tackling climate change,” Maher said.

“The reality is Australian coal mining companies are extremely profitable and will continue to be well into the future under the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

“This scare mongering is purely a cynical bid by mining giants to squeeze more money in compensation out of Australian taxpayers.”

The coal industry’s biggest lobby groups, the ACA, Queensland Resources Council, NSW Minerals Council and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), have recently stepped up their campaign against the CPRS, using potential job losses under the scheme as a key argument.

Just this week NSW Minerals Council CEO Dr Nikki Williams said plans for a new tax on coal mines could seriously damage the Hunter’s next generation of job seekers.

According to MCA chief executive Mitch Hooke, the CFMEU has ignored State Government research that shows 126,000 regional Australian jobs will lost under the CPRS by 2020.

“The CFMEU refuses to comment on modelling by the Federal Treasury showing that ‘the fossil fuel mining sector declines considerably’ as a result of the proposed CPRS approach. This selective use of modelling leaves a gaping hole in the CFMEU’s credibility.”

Have your say

Are lobby groups taking advantage of coal workers in their campaign against the CPRS?

Email ozmining@reedbusiness.com.au

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.