Greens call for coal levy to support workers

Greens head Richard Di Natale has called for a plan to levy coal miners for environmental rehabilitation and to support workers in retraining.

Di Natale's plan, which will be launched today, will focus on using funds levied from the miners to carry out environmental rehabilitation and remediation on former coal mines, and retrain miners for future jobs, the Newcastle herald reports.

‘As coal companies go bankrupt or leave Australia, it is coal workers who are hit the hardest, followed by state governments, who are regularly left to foot the bill for cleaning up the mine,’’ Di Natale said.

While full details will not be released until later today, it is understood the levy would contribute to “a Federal Trust Fund for the companies to access at the conclusion of their operations”, in a similar manner to environmental bonds.

He went on to say that the focus should be on “how to transition thousands of jobs in the sector; and how to pay for billions in clean-up and rehabilitation costs for dozens of disused coal mines”.

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