The Hunter region is vulnerable to global changes in the market for coal and this could leave thousands of people jobless,
landscapes unrehabilitated and the region in economic recession if there are no plans and actions in place to stimulate job
creation in alternative industries.
The region has expertise in energy, civil engineering, manufacturing, food production, wine growing, tourism and agriculture. It connects to the world via the Port of Newcastle and the rail line that can deliver Hunter products for export. It has exceptional natural beauty, biodiversity and water resources and vibrant towns and villages.
Past experiences of structural change in mining and energy industries from Australia and around the world provide us with the lessons we need to ensure a positive transition for our region to protect us against declines in coal. Key elements of successful transitions include:
We seek support from local, state and federal government, business and civil society for:
A Hunter Regional Transition Taskforce with representatives from the community, unions, employers and government to coordinate the transition and facilitate community participation processes.
A Hunter Regional Diversification Plan building on existing strengths and encouraging the development of industry clusters, labour-intensive projects and education, training and technology hubs.
Strengthened laws for rehabilitation of mines and power stations to increase financial bonds and improve standards, boosting the jobs available now and into the future in environmental restoration.