Institute of Public Affairs North Australia Project director Hugh Tobin said the policies would devastate regional Australia and lock the north regions of Queensland into a perpetual state of underperformance if enacted once the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate on July 1.
“Preventing new coal mines from opening would be catastrophic for the Australian economy, particularly in the north. In New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia there are 50 coal projects due to start in the next three years alone,” Tobin said.
“Coal is the top export for both New South Wales and Queensland. It contributes $8.4 billion to the NSW economy and $20.5 billion to the Queensland economy. A few wind turbines aren’t going to replace the coal industry in terms of jobs or energy output anytime soon.
“The Greens also want to stop the development of the coal seam gas industry. This industry represents a huge opportunity for many regional Australian communities which deserve the chance to benefit from this resource.”
Anglo American Mining chief executive Cynthia Carroll warned in a recent trip to Australia that the introduction of a carbon tax could imperil $4 billion dollars of investment in mining projects from Anglo American.
“The resource boom is not assured,” Tobin said.
“We need to create an environment that encourages investment.
“We shouldn’t be adding more taxes and blocking future investment. The north is underdeveloped as it is. The government should put in place a Special Economic Zone in Northern Australia. A low tax, low regulation zone would drive continued long-term investment in the Australian resource industry.”