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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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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Scott Morrison to announce $50 million investment in a new business and research partnership involving the University of Newcastle and the University of NSW

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will visit the Hunter on Wednesday to announce a $50 million investment in a new business and research partnership that the government expects will create 1,600 jobs over the next four years.

 

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Maoneng announces plans for a $1.6billion, 1 gigawatt solar-battery hub for Merriwa

Renewable energy company Maoneng intends to build a $1.6 billion, one gigawatt solar and battery hub at Merriwa in the Upper Hunter.

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Government must support displaced Hunter workers during energy transition

The availability and effectiveness of retraining programs for displaced workers would be a key factor in the the success of the Hunter's energy transition, the head of Australia's peak career development body believes.

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Research reveals 'transition' and 'just transition' are toxic terms for Hunter mining communities

To many in the Hunter, "transition" or "just transition" is a shorthand term for you are going to lose your job.  The phrases, initially developed by the trade union movement in North America to describe interventions to secure workers rights and livelihoods when economies shift from extractive reliant to renewables, are now dirty words.

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Muswellbrook and Singleton mayors demand more help for post-Hunter coal as academics reveal concerns over 'just transition'

IN today's Power and the Passion instalments, reporter Donna Page investigates concerns about the much-discussed "transition" away from coal.

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Regions ready for energy switch: report

Extreme weather, the early closure of coal plants, and a world moving to cut carbon emissions have shifted regional Australians' views on moving away from fossil fuels, a new report says.

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NSW Budget estimates look at how Eraring power station's proposed 2025 closure could affect Myuna and Mandalong collieries

JOB threats to 750 Centennial Coal mineworkers were examined at NSW budget estimates yesterday, which also confirmed that coal exploration would no longer be allowed around historic Wollombi.

 

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In Hunter, where coal is king, a Labor heartland seat faces a strong Coalition challenge

The ALP has held the NSW electorate at every election since 1910. But with seismic changes under way, the valley’s miners are eyeing the future with unease.

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Power and Passion: The Hunter is in a race to cash in on an emerging global hydrogen market

The Hunter is in a race to cash in on an emerging global hydrogen market that will be worth an estimated $1.4 trillion by 2050.  Goldman Sachs estimates that, if realised, the region's hydrogen exports could eventually replicate if not exceed the value of existing coal exports.

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Japan's Eurus Energy invests in Energy Estate's Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N)

Energy Estate and Japan's Eurus Energy have signed an agreement that will have the renewable energy developer take an investment stake in the $2 billion Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N).

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Switching off

Shock, denial, stress, anger. Workers are struggling to comprehend the early closure of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station and the plan for what comes next. 

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Maoneng unveils $1.6b solar-battery hub plan

Renewables and battery developer Maoneng has revealed ambitions to build an almost one gigawatt solar and battery farm in NSW’s Upper Hunter region in a $1.6 billion project that chief executive Morris Zhou says has attracted interest from infrastructure investors and construction groups.

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Energy Minister Angus Taylor announces funding to fuel Hunter hydrogen hub pilot projects

The federal government's latest investment in Newcastle's hydrogen "hub" will help pay for a pilot plant at Kooragang Island.  Energy Minister Angus Taylor announced on Thursday that the government would spend $82 million on two hydrogen projects in Newcastle, in addition to the $100 million allocated to Port of Newcastle in last month's budget for infrastructure to help prepare the port for hydrogen exports.

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Hunter Valley to score 2,300 new jobs under Coalition’s green energy plan

The Hunter Valley could become a world-leading green energy hub, with thousands of new jobs sparked by a $82 million funding commitment. A job windfall awaits the Hunter Valley under a Coalition plan to make the region a global leader in green energy production and export with a $82 million investment to kickstart a hydrogen “super hub”.

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AGL and NuRock investigate plan to recycle millions of tonnes of coal ash from Bayswater Power Station into construction materials

AGL Energy has signed an historic agreement with waste site remediation company NuRock to investigate the feasibility of converting millions of tonnes of coal ash at Bayswater power station into into construction bricks.

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Replacing NSW coal plant with renewables would create thousands more jobs than gas, report says

Solar and wind could bring ‘jobs boom’ to regions that have previously depended on coal, Australian Conservation Foundation says

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Power and the Passion: How the Hunter's mining voids could be turned into a network of man-made lakes

The turquoise blue water looks like a tropical vision rather than a rehabilitated coal mine in outback Western Australia. Stockton open cut mine closed in 1957 leaving behind a 30-metre deep void that gradually filled with water.

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Power and the Passion: The challenge of rehabilitating Hunter mine sites for future generations

The Hunter's coal mines may have generated billions of dollars in regional and national income over recent decades, but a figure which rarely receives attention is the cost of cleaning up and rehabilitating the land once mining ends.

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Eraring workers power to an uncertain future

Australia’s energy sector is evolving at a breakneck pace. But what will become of the communities that underpin it?

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Munmorah Power Station site touted for Waratah Super Battery

Swansea MP Yasmin Catley is backing the Munmorah Power Station site for the 700-megawatt Waratah Super Battery.  Ms Catley has written to Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean, asking him to consider putting the battery at the old Munmorah site.

 

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Coalmining regions urged to diversify, with Chinese slowdown in coal consumption 'imminent'

Energy economists are warning coalmining regions to make urgent changes to diversify, with a Chinese slowdown in coal consumption "imminent".

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POWER AND THE PASSION: Transition to renewable energy must consider generations of Newcastle families rely on Hunter Valley coal industry

IT was 1950 and Ron Peters was a newly minted trapper whose job it was to open the mine doors for the pit ponies hauling heavy skips and timber roof supports.  Then, as now, the coal mining industry was booming in the Hunter.

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Newcastle University research shows nearly 65 per cent of the Hunter Valley floor taken up by mining leases

NEARLY 65 per cent of the Hunter Valley floor between Broke and Muswellbrook is taken up by mining leases, according to research from the University of Newcastle.

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Meet the coal miner who turned a redundancy into a booming cafe business in the Upper Hunter

SIMON Davis saw the writing on the wall early.  A mechanic by trade, the career miner took a redundancy in 2016 after Drayton South failed to win approval following a major stoush with the Upper Hunter's thoroughbred horse breeding industry.

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Philip O'Neill: it's clear a new politics of coal has arrived

Everything is upturned ... the importance of coal to other sectors is diminished

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Businesses in the Hunter want more from politicians than a fear campaign about job losses in the coal industry

Ampcontrol chief executive Rod Henderson is one of many business leaders in the New South Wales Hunter region who want more from the major parties this election than a fear campaign about job losses in the coal industry.

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Veteran real estate agents say Upper Hunter in the midst of first property boom not linked to the coal industry

PETER Dunn has been selling real estate in Singleton for more than 40 years. In that time he's never seen a boom not linked to the mining industry - until now. Traditionally property prices in the Upper Hunter have seesawed with the fortune of coal. A double-edged sword of boom and bust.

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POWER AND THE PASSION: Upper Hunter would be 'on its knees' without mining, says business leaders

WHOLE communities have been wiped off the map in the Upper Hunter as a result of the expansion of the region's mining boom and urbanisation.Some that remain, like Bulga, only exist because defiant and determined residents fought tooth and nail to save the areas where generations of their families have lived.

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Federal government wants companies like Origin and AGL to give five years notice of plans to close power stations.

AGL would be required to give an extra 18months notice of its intention to close Bayswater Power Station under a rule change proposed by the federal government.

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A Hunter Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct could attract $28 billion in private investment, BZE report shows

A Hunter Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct could attract $28 billion in private investment, support 34,000 new jobs and earn $11 billion annually by 2032, an economic analysis of the project shows.

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IFM launches $4b green fund to target energy transition

Infrastructure giant IFM Investors intends to raise $4 billion by the end of next year for a new clean-energy focused fund to capitalise on voracious demand from clients to invest in green assets.

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Newcastle air quality: Data reveals Hunter coal fire power stations cause toxic emissions as power generation drops

The latest national pollution data shows several Hunter and Central Coast power stations have reported significant increases in toxic emissions while overall power generation dropped.

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Zero emissions: Newcastle Transport to see first electric buses outside Sydney as part of NSW government plan

ELECTRIC buses are set to join Newcastle's service in the coming months as part of a government plan to transition the state's fleet.

Newcastle Transport will receive three "zero emissions" buses - the first in NSW outside Sydney - which will have the capacity to undertake a full day of service on a single charge.

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Professor James Murray-Parkes says bananas and lantana could be used for construction

Bananas and lantana have been highlighted as natural resources that can be harvested to help establish a zero-carbon economy. Professor James Murray-Parkes, a world-class applied physicist based in Newcastle, said using nature in a sustainable way would reduce energy use.

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POWER AND THE PASSION: What the Hunter must do to successfully transition to a clean energy future

The Hunter is at an historical crossroads. How the region meets the imminent challenges associated with the closure of coal-fired power stations coupled with the decline of its economic lifeline, the coal industry, will shape its destiny for generations to come.

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POWER AND THE PASSION: Future of Newcastle coal industry after renewable energy transition

MORE than 2.78 billion tonnes of coal have been gouged out of the Hunter Valley since the year 2000, enough to fill Lake Macquarie more than three times over.

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POWER AND THE PASSION: Aerial photos of reveal true scale of Hunter coal mining and perspective of shift to renewable energy

On the tarmac near Scone airport, readying to squeeze into the back of a Cessna 182 (which is a very small plane), I can see a thoroughbred galloping along a white fence on the hill, a few paddocks over.

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Former mine manager Michael White is committed to saving the Hunter Valley industry for future generations

Michael White's picturesque Wybong property is a far cry from the pits where he spent four decades building a successful career as a mining engineer and manager.

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POWER AND THE PASSION: Muswellbrook former miner Pete Kennedy reveals what life is like living next door to a Hunter coal mine

EX-MINER Pete Kennedy lives "a 303 rifle shot" from what he describes as 'Mt un-Pleasant", which he can see over the back fence of his suburban Muswellbrook home.

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The first of Liddell power station's four 500 megawatt turbines will be shut down on Friday.

The first of Liddell power station's four 500 megawatt turbines will be shut down on Friday, marking a major milestone in the state's clean energy transition.

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