Greens plan to end all coal mining in NSW

The NSW Greens want to end all coal mining in the state and create a new economic model by focusing on renewable energy.

Under the policy, The Greens would tax mining companies an extra $250 million a year and invest the money into other industries it says are more sustainable.

Greens spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said it’s time for NSW to transition away from its reliance on coal.

"We don't want to base our economy on fossil fuels but what we want to do is make sure that as we make a transition out of coal, that the state benefits," Buckingham said.

"The question is will NSW have a planned and managed phase-out strategy for coal, or will we wait for a chaotic collapse of the industry?"

As part of the move, the development of new coal mines will be prohibited, while existing operations will be given a timeline in which they have to shut down.

The Greens said mine workers will have access to retraining and high quality, unionised jobs.

The party also said it will work to help communities which have been reliant on coal mining operations to develop new industries.

"It will be a complex, long-term and difficult process, but we need to begin it now otherwise we will end up with a nasty shock,” Buckingham said.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the plan to end coal mining shows The Greens are “living in a parallel universe”.

Last year, the mining industry spent a total of $13.6 billion in NSW on goods and services, wages, salaries, local councils, and community groups.

“Coal is our State's most valuable export commodity and directly employs 11,000 people in the Hunter. Coal mining also supports thousands of mining supplier businesses including over 4,200 Hunter businesses that in turn provide more local jobs,” Galilee said.

“Coal also meets over 80% of our state's energy needs, powering our homes, shops, factories, cafes and restaurants. Shutting down the coal industry will drive up electricity prices and lead to massive energy shortages across NSW, further harming homes and businesses.”

Buckingham said while coal’s economic contribution the NSW economy was significant, it was not essential to the budget.

"At the moment we have Mike Baird and the Coalition going hard on approving coal mines, and Labor in hiding on it. Labor are putting political pragmatism, and trying to win Hunter seats, ahead of what needs to be done," Buckingham said.

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