A new foundation has launched to assist with the creation of jobs and economic growth in response to scheduled power station and thermal mine closures over the coming decades.
The Foundation would work to ensure new investment, new industries and new employment opportunities are scaled up, as thermal coal mining and energy are scaled down, as well as responding to the challenges faced in the region right now due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
“This is about safeguarding the future of the Hunter region,” Hunter Joint Organisation Board Chair and Mayor of Cessnock City Council Cr Bob Pynsent said.
“The simple fact of the matter is the coal and energy sector in the Hunter is changing. While the future of the Hunter will include coal, we know that future global demand and use of coal is not something we can control or influence."
“So, we must look now at how we can address long-term changes to the coal power industry. There are 25,000 people in the Hunter working directly in mining, energy, or in supporting industries and businesses."
“If we act early on this, we have an incredible opportunity to future proof our local economy and create new industries, businesses and employment opportunities right here in the region."
“This Foundation will help hundreds of businesses a year and thousands of workers. We are looking to partner with industry who have an immediate interest in economic transformation with the closure of both the Liddell and Bayswater Power Stations scheduled in 2023 and 2035, respectively."
“We also see an opportunity to bring significant investment dollars into the region. There are opportunities in new energy production and storage, the redevelopment and repurposing of industrial land and in backing local entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.”