The Hunter Region should have its own energy transition fund

Gladys Berejiklian and John Barilaro in Singleton. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
 Gladys Berejiklian and John Barilaro in Singleton. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
As has been widely reported, Mr Johnsen was unceremoniously brought down by a rape allegation he has vehemently denied.

Voters, no doubt, are well aware they shouldn't believe everything the party leaders and their candidates say, as promises are often made to help win the fight of the day. Survival for the chameleon-like political animal can demand such a stance.

This came to mind as news dropped that the NSW government will provide $25 million a year for coal mining communities to help create new jobs, as the energy sector continues to change.

The Royalties for Rejuvenation program will contribute this money into a future fund for the exclusive use of coal mining areas.

The creation of this fund makes absolute sense. However, the initial figure is a drop in the ocean compared to what's needed.

The Hunter region alone will need an energy transition package that runs into the billions. In this context, the promise of $25 million a year to be shared between coal mining communities won't be enough. The federal government, among others, will be required to commit considerable sums.

Rather than being part of a shared fund, perhaps the Hunter's coal communities should have their own fund. Shared funds can open themselves to pork barrelling.

Read the full article published in the Newcastle Herald 22nd April 2021