NSW Greens coal plan to cost thousands of jobs: Minerals Council

Operations in the Hunter Valley

A Greens plan to shut down New South Wales’ coal industry has been slammed by the state’s leading mining body.

According to media reports, the NSW Greens will today submit a policy calling for coal mining to be phased out in the state over the next decade.

Additionally, it is expected the policy will call for an auction for mining licences over that period to raise funds in support of miners and communities that will transition away from coal.

NSW Minerals Council chief executive officer Stephen Galilee said the Greens plan to shut down coal mining would mean lights out for the state.

“It’s a recipe for economic chaos that would cost thousands of jobs and send NSW into a deep recession if not a depression,” Galilee said in an emailed statement to Australian Mining.

The NSW Greens are expected to unveil the policy in Newcastle today.

Earlier this week, new export data showed that global demand for NSW coal was continuing at near-record levels, with exports increasing by 1.5 million tonnes in 2016.

Data released by Coal Services revealed that NSW coal exports increased from 168.8 million tonnes to December 2015 to 170.4 million tonnes to December 2016.

The figures also revealed a record volume of 161 million tonnes of coal was exported in 2016 through the Port of Newcastle, the world’s largest coal export port.

“Coal is our state’s most valuable export so it’s great for the NSW economy that demand for our coal continues to be strong and is growing steadily across our main export markets.” Galilee said.