State’s planning system hurting coal industry

The NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee has accused the state’s planning system of damaging the coal industry.

The comments come as Newcastle’s main coal lender deals with changes to its local contract arrangements, the ABC reported.

Struggling with the downturn in the mining sector, Port Waratah Coal Services announced yesterday its fourth coal terminal is no longer warranted with a dip in supply.

It is now going through voluntary decreases in coal loads from Hunter producers.

“This is a reminder of the reality of the impact of the state’s planning system of the sector,” Galilee said.

“It’s a reminder of the need for the state government to address this situation and introduce a planning system that supports certainty for the mining sector, because it’s obviously a very important sector for the Hunter economy and the state’s economy more generally.”

Galilee added delays and doubt over mine project approvals, along with NSW’s planning system, are responsible.

“The industry has been warning for many months now of the commodity price and cost price squeeze that we’ve been facing,” he said.

He said the announcement by PWCS is a reflection of this.

PWCS cut its T4 coal loader capacity on Kooragang Island by nearly two thirds in November last year, to just 25 million tonnes a year.

The cut came after PWCS was advised by coal companies they no longer expected to ship as much coal.

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