Households to feel pinch as coal, gas profits surge

The heated global energy market has driven Australia’s resources export earnings to new heights, boosting government coffers by nearly $30 billion but pushing household power bills to painful highs.

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Stunning week of early coal closures opens path to 100 pct renewables

It has one of the most stunning weeks on Australia’s rapidly accelerating green energy transition – a pledge by the country’s most coal dependent state to close all its coal generators by 2035, quickly followed by another pledge by the country’s biggest polluter to do exactly the same thing.
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EnergyCo scoping report identifies the former Munmorah Power Station site as suitable for the Waratah Super Battery

The site of the former Munmorah Power Station has been formally identified as the preferred location for the state government's Waratah Super Battery project.

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Hunter Labor MP Dan Repacholi will deliver his maiden speech in federal parliament on September 27

ENERGY and employment will be the focus of federal Hunter MP Dan Repacholi's maiden speech to parliament Tuesday afternoon.

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Tomago Aluminium clean energy partnership will supercharge the Hunter Region's energy future

Tomago Aluminium's decision to partner with renewable energy and storage partners would allow the Hunter Region to "step into the future", clean energy transition advocacy group Hunter Jobs Alliance believes.

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Iron ore, coal and copper boom made Aussies poorer, not richer

You may or may not know that Australia has just passed through the peak of its greatest ever mining boom. The reason why you may not know this is that the outstanding difference between this boom and those previous is that it very likely made you poorer. So no politician has told you about it.

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‘Feasting on billions while our planet burns’: UN calls for windfall tax on fossil fuel firms

The United Nations Secretary General has called on all developed nations to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies.

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‘Massive missed opportunity’: NSW could make $23bn with tiered tax on record coal profit

New South Wales could erase its budget deficit twice over by following Queensland in implementing a tiered mining royalties scheme that taxes resources companies based on windfall profits, according to an expert analysis

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Old Hunter Valley coal mine could be turned into big pumped hydro storage plant

An idea to convert underground coal mines into pumped hydro storage facilities is about to be tested in a feasibility study to be conducted at an old coal mine near Newcastle that could lead to a 600MW facility being established there.

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Greens pledge jobs guarantee for coal workers in $19bn transition plan

The Australian Greens will offer a ten-year jobs guarantee for coal workers under an ambitious $19 billion election commitment, which it says will ease Australia’s transition from fossil fuels to cleaner industries

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Ocean turbines off Newcastle: why the Hunter can't throw caution to the wind

Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced plans in early August 2022 to develop six offshore wind turbine projects at locations including off the coast of Victoria's Gippsland region in Bass Strait, NSW's Hunter and Illawarra regions and near Perth and Bunbury in WA.

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University of Newcastle carbon capture start-up Mineral Carbonation international is looking to explore for serpentine rock near the Hunter

A carbon capture start-up, operating out of the University of Newcastle, is looking to explore for materials near Gloucester to use in their demonstration plant.

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NSW coal city, Newcastle, sets sights on 100 per cent renewables

The New South Wales coal city of Newcastle is zeroing in on plans to take local government operations 100 per cent renewable, after a study showed the move would deliver millions of dollars in savings.

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Former Latrobe Valley Authority chief executive Karen Cain believes collaboration between Hunter Valley groups is essential for successful energy transition

The challenges of energy transition are rumbling towards communities across Australia like an approaching freight train. It's been off in the distance for a while, but the roar of the locomotive is getting louder and louder. Communities that have been dependent on fossil fuel industries for generations have no choice but to pay attention.

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Energy Minister Chris Bowen says the government's climate policy will lay the foundation for a successful Hunter clean energy transition

The federal government's recently passed climate legislation would ensure regions such as the Hunter achieved a just and effective energy transition, Energy and climate change minister Chris Bowen has argued.

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Energy Minister Chris Bowen says green hydrogen will be introduced to the Hunter Power Project at Kurri as soon as possible

Energy minister Chris Bowen said he was confident the gas-fired Hunter Power Project at Kurri Kurri can be converted to green hydrogen for $700 million. Questions about the feasibility of the conversion project, which Labor announced in February, have arisen in recent weeks.

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Liddell Power Station site a step closer to becoming a green hydrogen hub under plans by AGL and Fortescue Future Industries chairman Twiggy Forrest

About 1000 new clean energy jobs could be created from a green hydrogen production hub on the site of Liddell Power Station, early research suggests. The project's proponents AGL and Fortescue Future Industries announced on Tuesday they were expanding their feasibility study for project to include two of Japan's biggest energy companies - Inpex Corporation and Osaka Gas.

 

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Consultation on Hunter offshore wind projects expected to commence in coming months

Offshore wind turbines could be operating off the Hunter coast within the next decade after the federal government said the region had "world-class" wind energy potential. Public consultation on the project, which industry estimates would create hundreds of clean energy jobs, is expected to commence in coming months.

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Applications open for the Hunter Expert Panel, part of the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund

Hunter leaders and community representatives have been invited to apply for positions on the region's expert panel. The panel will provide local knowledge and advice to the state government on projects and initiatives that will support economic diversification and create future jobs in coal mining communities.

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Newcastle University's Global Centre for Environmental Remediation head Professor Ravi Naidu says NSW government bond system holds less than half of what is needed to rehabilitate Hunter mines

When major coal mine projects fail or close without notice, they often leave a path of destruction. Thousands of workers are unemployed, communities left to count the environmental, social and economic cost and the whole industry and government's credibility takes a battering.

 

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Upper Hunter residents say coal mine rehab should include replanting woodland and forest corridors

COAL mining companies should do better to ensure what they leave behind can be repurposed to create jobs, and to restore the environment, Hunter residents say.

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Hunter's equine industry bucks Upper Hunter Mt Pleasant coal mine 22-year expansion plan

A MOUNTAIN of overburden six kilometres wide, the equivalent of 12 Sydney Harbour Bridges, was a difficult image to escape at a coal mine expansion hearing in Sydney on Friday.

 

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Phillip O'Neill: NSW government should pay back Muswellbrook, the Hunter coal mining town that fattened budget coffers

Last week's census numbers are a warning for Muswellbrook. They reveal a shire with widening, worrying cracks. At the 2021 census, Muswellbrook shire was home to 16,357 people, up by a mere 271 over 2016. Muswellbrook isn't growing like Singleton and Cessnock local government areas down the valley.

 

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Why Grattan Insitute is urging the NSW Government to use more of the royalties it earns from coal to help the Hunter diversify

Take the train from Armidale to Newcastle, and you'll know when you hit coal country. The rolling green hills of New England and wide skies of the Liverpool Plains give way to a view of coal trains. Endlessly long, slow, brown-ish grey wagons, piled high with black coal destined for power stations and export terminals.

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Regional towns could be wiped out by move to net-zero. Here’s their best chance for survival

Australia’s mining and heavy industry sectors are on the cusp of a revolution as the world shifts to net-zero. Demand for traditional industrial commodities – coal, oil, and gas – is set to slide. The International Energy Agency believes global coal use will have to fall 90% if the world is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

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We need to speed up the shift to renewables. There are opportunities, and risks, for regional communities

Our current energy crisis has laid bare the risks we all face from our over-reliance on expensive and polluting fossil fuels like gas and coal. To safeguard our grid against international price pressures we need to speed up our shift to cheaper, cleaner renewable energy.

 

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NSW electricity: Grattan Institute backs bigger share of coal mining royalties for Hunter Valley energy transition

A high-profile national policy think tank has joined calls for a public authority to coordinate economic transition in the Hunter and says the NSW government should direct far more coal royalties back to the region. The Grattan Institute on Sunday published a report on how state and federal governments should steer the "next industrial revolution" to achieve the nation's 2050 net-zero target.

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The Hunter Jobs Alliance estimates $650 million is needed to prepare the Hunter for a clean energy transition over the next decade.

About $65 million a year needs to be invested over the next decade to ensure the Hunter is prepared for the economic changes and challenges facing the region, according to a new analysis.

 

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Hunter Jobs Alliance's proposal on exactly what the region needs to tackle the undeniable economic shifts ahead

In 2020, a Muswellbrook Council committee involving employers, unions and business groups commissioned a study by Australia's leading experts on regional industry change, from UniSA. The report lays out decades' worth of experience on how to manage the impacts of industrial closures and structural change. It deserves a read.

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Price of Hunter Valley's energy transition away from coal takes less energy that counting costs

WHAT price can be put on the security of steady work and a plan for the future? Hunter Jobs Alliance analysis has found a just transition for the Hunter Region, one that protects the power industry's workers - and the communities they call home - from the full brunt of the shift to renewables, would cost about $65 million a year over the next decade.

 

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Newcastle in 'Sydney ring' in AEMO 30-year plan's roadmap out of energy gridlock

A new roadmap out of gridlock for the national electricity grid has been developed to fast-track projects that have been on the drawing board for years. Releasing the 30-year plan for the National Electricity Market (NEM) amid an energy crisis, the market operator on Thursday acknowledged the need for new investment has "gathered momentum" in recent months.

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Coal may exit Australia’s grid a lot quicker than most people think

There were some in Australia’s coal generation industry that thought the market operator was kidding itself when it suggested all brown coal generators could close within a decade, and that the remaining black coal generators would all be gone within another ten years.

 

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Newcastle-based clean energy company MGA Thermal unveils the first stage of its new commercial manufacturing facility in Tomago.

Newcastle-based clean energy company MGA Thermal has unveiled the first stage of its new commercial manufacturing facility in Tomago. It is the latest chapter in the company's astronomical rise, which has been driven by demand for new energy storage to replace ageing or and increasingly unreliable coal-fired power stations.

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Newcastle Herald editorial: Mined the gap - Where's our share of coal royalties?

THREE months ago the Newcastle Herald launched its Power and the Passion series. One of the key goals of the series, which examines the serious impacts of the massive global shift in energy supply, was to ensure both federal and state governments properly recognise the contribution that Hunter coal has made to treasury coffers for around two centuries.

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'More than a mining town': Singleton's tourism brand outlined in recently adopted 10-year Community Strategic Plan

SINGLETON will look to throw off its "mining town stigma" in favour of cycleways and cultural events, under the council's new 10-year strategic plan. Mayor Sue Moore said while regional economic concerns can't be ignored, "overwhelming" feedback from the community focused on "lifestyle and livability".

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Muswellbrook and Singleton mayors hit out at budget snub as Cessnock MP Clayton Barr argues NSW government isn't serious about transitioning communities

THE MAYOR of Muswellbrook has called the state budget a "slap in the face" for the region as a Hunter MP says the "toe in the water" commitment to hydrogen is evidence the government isn't serious about transforming Hunter communities that rely on coal.

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Coal royalties: Queensland wins where NSW’s renewable energy superstar fears to tread

Tuesday was a day of contrasting state budgets, but in ways that many people wouldn’t expect – the Queensland state budget delivered by treasurer Cameron Dick and the NSW budget delivered by Treasurer Matt Kean (otherwise known as our renewable energy superstar).
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NSW State Budget: Hunter projects left 'high and dry' amid huge coal mining windfall

THE NSW government will rake in an extra $810 million in coal royalties this year - and almost $4 billion over the next four years - but has not put an extra dollar into a fund to help coal mining communities prepare for change.

 

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NSW’s biggest coal mine to close in 2030. Now what about the workers?

The clock is now ticking on New South Wales’ largest coal mine. BHP has announced it will close its Mount Arthur mine in the Hunter Valley in 2030 – 15 years ahead of its scheduled end of life.

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BHP announces plans to close NSW's largest coal mine at Mt Arthur by 2030

Mining giant BHP has failed to find a buyer for New South Wales' largest coal mine, and will close the operation in 2030. The company spent two years trying to sell its Mt Arthur operation in the state's Hunter Valley, which employs 2,000 people.

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Post-mining bonanza: Hunter’s $3.7 billion opportunity in renewable energy, biodiversity, agriculture, and manufacturing

Thousands of jobs and more than $3.7 billion in economic output could be generated in the Hunter if post-mining rehabilitation includes biodiversity restoration and repurposing seriously degraded mine sites for renewable energy projects, according to a groundbreaking new report written by EY and commissioned by Lock the Gate Alliance.

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6000 hectares of mining land in the Upper Hunter earmarked for new job-creating industries

MORE than 6000 hectares of mining land in the Upper Hunter has been earmarked for other industries as part of a blueprint to diversify the region's economy and create thousands of new jobs.

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Coal fire power: Eraring Power Station in the Hunter Valley is running out of coal, Origin tells ASX

Origin Energy has advised the Australian Stock Exchange that Eraring Power Station is running out of coal. The news resulted in the company slashing the profit target for the electricity business. It also threatens to deepen a worsening energy crisis engulfing Australia's east coast.

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Jobs in the Hunter: Hundreds of renewable energy sector jobs go unfilled due to chronic shortages amid desperate search for qualified tradespeople

Hundreds of jobs in the multibillion-dollar renewable energy sector remain unfilled due to a chronic shortage of qualified tradespeople in the Hunter.

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Bayswater, Liddell power stations workers must be a priority in AGL's corporate shakeup and new energy transition strategy

AGL employees and their communities must be among the top priorities in any restructure or revised time frame for the closure of coal-fired generators, Hunter business and employment advocates argue.

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Climate change scientist Tim Flannery says energy transition targets are critical for Hunter to avoid climate catastrophe

IT'S not the destination, but the journey which will be our undoing if we continue along our current trajectory towards catastrophic climate change, says climate scientist Professor Tim Flannery.

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CWP Renewables to expand its Newcastle office, with numerous jobs going

CWP Renewables is expanding in Newcastle, as the company prepares to spend $1 billion on energy projects this year. The Newcastle office is set to grow from a team of 25 to more than 40.

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Gloucester finding optimism in industry diversity as Yancoal mines wind down

AS COAL mines along the Bucketts Way wind down, taking jobs and economic benefits with them, residents in the Upper Hunter town of Gloucester are "excited" about the potential of other industries in the area.

 

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Coal communities' cash splash from Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund a drop in the ocean amid titanic issues

IT'S been labelled by critics as a "spit in the ocean", "spare change", "modest", "a cheap and insulting thought bubble" and "an absolute joke".

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University of Newcastle to co-host $15 million NSW decarbonisation innovation hub

The University of Newcastle is among the beneficiaries of a $15 million state government investment to establish a decarbonisation innovation hub to help fast-track research, development and commercialisation of low emissions technologies.

 

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