The Minerals Council of Australia has launched an advertising campaign aimed at highlighting the positive aspects of the coal mining industry.
"Isn't it amazing what this little black rock can do?" is the question asked in the Little Black Rock campaign which features television, print, radio and online advertising, pointing out that the coal industry employs 150,000 people, generates $40 billion in export earnings and pays $6bn in wages.
It also explains how the industry was reducing emissions, and how the commodity is used for electricity needs.
The Minerals Council of Australia’s executive director of coal, Greg Evans, said the coal industry was keen to tackle some major public misconceptions.
“The coal industry is committed to an informative and rational discussion on the contribution coal is making to jobs, economic growth and low-cost energy in Australia, with the campaign to continue indefinitely to advance these important issues,’’ he said.
However, the #coalisamazing hashtag was soon hijacked on Twitter, with users making a sham of the campaign.
— Sarah Colenbrander (@s_colenbrander) September 6, 2015
More Australians work in medical research & technology than coal industry. Lets grow future industries not dwell in the past #coalisamazing
— Dr Krystal (@dr_krystal) September 6, 2015
#coalisamazing because winter was pretty cold this year and the world needs to be a bit warmer anyway.
— Vaidehi (@vaidehi_s) September 7, 2015
The Australian Conservation Foundation has labelled the ads as “ludicrous”.
“Coal is a dangerous little black rock. Every climate scientist and almost every politician in the world knows that coal is very polluting and very dangerous. The only people who don’t get that are the Minerals Council and our government,” the foundation’s chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said.
"I’m glad that the Minerals Council has woken up to the 18th century potential of coal. I can’t wait until they see the 21st century potential of renewable energy.”