CFMEU fails to plan for a future without coal

MEDIA RELEASE – 14 February 2014

Drayton South mine

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today criticized the CFMEU for failing to advocate strongly for a transition for their members away from the dying coal and gas industry and into renewable energy.  This follows the CFMEU’s calls for the NSW government to support the expansion of Anglo American’s Drayton South mine which is set to close in 2017.

(http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/cfmeu-backs-anglo-s-drayton-south-mine-expansion)

“The loss of jobs as coal mines close should come as no surprise to the CFMEU and yet they have failed their members by not developing a transition plan for jobs in renewable energy,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“There is growing community concern about the impact that coal mining has in driving climate change and it is time for us to move away from our dependence on the export oriented coal and gas industries.”

“The union movement, including the CFMEU, has an important role to play in educating the public about the need for a plan to move away from polluting industries.”

“It is in the interests of their membership to advocate for a swift transition supported by the government.”

“Jobs are being shed around the country due to the structural issues in the coal industry and it is unrealistic to expect this trend to turn around.”

“Research commissioned by the Australian Coal Association last year showed the dire state of Queensland and NSW coal mines with over 9000 coal jobs lost since 2012.”

(http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/features/thin-margins-job-losses-coal-sector-troubles)

“It is no longer acceptable for the CFMEU to ignore the change that is occurring and they need to recognise that they have a responsibility to look to the future.”

“Last May NSW Labor Opposition Leader John Robertson acknowledged the importance of phasing out the coal industry, before quickly backpedalling following pressure from the CFMEU.”

(http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1523268/costa-attacks-labor-leader-over-coal-future/)

“It’s time for Mr Robertson to stand up to the CFMEU and back a serious plan for transitioning away from coal and gas and building the jobs of the future.”

 

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2470 or 0427 719 101

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