“Switch off coal power”
GREEN & LABOR SENATORS lineup against one of Central Queensland's biggest industries.
Wednesday 30 November 2016
Labor and the Greens have released a report calling for the end of coal-fired power generation in Australia, and the establishment of a taxpayer funded body to manage the closures and the impacts on employees.
The Environment References Committee report which delivered the report is made up of three Labor Senators, two Liberal Senators and is chaired by Greens Senator Larissa Waters.
The two minority Liberal Senators within the committee released a dissenting report which rejected the recommendations of the majority.
There are currently more than 24 Power Stations in Australia, and they account for more than three-quarters of energy generation.
Nearly half the power stations are in Queensland, and nine of them are in the Bowen and Surat Basins, meaning the impacts of closures would felt hardest in Central Queensland.
There were more than 100 submissions to the committee with widely differing views about coal fired power, but in the end, the majority report recommendations were based on their concerns about the impact of coal-fired power stations on Global Warming and public health.
“The age and declining economic potential of Australia's fleet of coal-fired power generators, as well as Australia's commitment to reducing its carbon emissions footprint in line with the Paris Agreement, means it is inevitable that many of these coal-fired generators will cease operations in the medium term,” Senator Waters wrote in the report.
“The question is not if coal fired power stations will close, but how quickly and orderly these closures will occur, and what supporting policies, if any, will be in place to help manage the process.”
Rockhampton-based Resources Minister Matt Canavan has labelled the “Greens-Labor” alliance report as a “dreamland-like scenario” which ignores reality.
“It proposes to shut down thousands of jobs in our coal-fired power sector and lose our competitiveness as an economy.
“What we should have is cheap baseload power, to drive growth, drive productivity, drive aluminium smelters, and to drive steel making facilities in towns and cities all around our country.
“There’s also no recognition of the fact that coal is our second largest export.
“Are we going to shut down our coal fired power stations here, but still send the coal and to other countries for them to burn?
“Coal is something that we have built this country on. We rely on it, and will for decades to come.”