Loss of well paid jobs poses the greatest threat to a collaborative and 'just' transition

The strongest arguments posed by those who want a continuation of coal mining and coal fired power stations in the Hunter are where will the existing workforce in these two industries find such well paid jobs and what will be the economic driver of the region if not thermal coal?

Trade union submissions to the NSW Parliamentary inquiry into Sustainability of energy supply and resources in NSW highlight these twin concerns with the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) NSW Branch stating in their submission , ' that previous industry transition has seen only a third of workers finding equivalent full-time work post retrenchment. The remaining two thirds are either forced into lower paying, insecure work, or locked out of the labour market entirely.'

The inquiry which is looking at the capacity and economic opportunities of renewable energy as well as trends in energy supply and exports received 200 submissions from organisations, individuals and businesses.

For both the AMWU and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), who also provided a submission to the inquiry, the need to ensure future employment for the coal industry workforce was the most important part of any transition planning. These two unions represent the majority of the coal industry workforce.

 Read the full story by Louise Nichols in the Singleton Argus October 11 2019