ACA launches campaign in Mackay

THE Australian Coal Association yesterday launched a major advertising campaign in central Queensland warning of possible mine closures and job losses caused by the federal government’s proposed new emissions tax on coal mines.

Angie Tomlinson

ACA executive director Ralph Hillman said the government’s proposed tax will potentially make some Queensland mines uneconomic and prevent others from opening, leading to thousands of jobs disappearing in the nation’s coal industry.

“The Australian coal industry accepts the science of global warming and supports action to reduce harmful carbon in the atmosphere,” Hillman said.

He said the coal industry would spend a billion dollars over the next 10 years in developing technology to cut carbon emissions.

“The federal government’s proposed carbon reduction scheme is badly flawed in its treatment of coal,” Hillman said.

“The proposed plan would not cut carbon emissions while costing regional Queensland thousands of coal industry jobs.”

Launching the “Let’s cut emissions not jobs” campaign in Mackay yesterday, Hillman said regions such as central Queensland will be hard hit by the proposed new tax on coal mines that will cost the industry more than $14 billion over 10 years.

In one report, economic modelling of the impact of the proposed carbon reduction scheme predicted 16 coal mines would close prematurely and more than 9000 direct and indirect jobs would be lost in the first nine years of the scheme.

“Every tonne of coal not produced in Australia as a result of this tax will simply be produced by our competitors who are not being penalised in the same way by their governments,” Hillman said.

“Both the United States and European Union have specifically rejected taxing coal mines and both produce far higher emissions than we do.”

At the Brisbane Mining Club yesterday, Anglo American chief executive Cynthia Carroll weighed in on the debate stating the ETS would lead to the closure of two of the company’s mines a decade early and cost 2000 Anglo jobs.

The Australian reported Carroll as saying the scheme in its current form would cost the government $1 billion in royalties and cost the company $118 million.

Queensland Resources chief executive Michael Roche welcomed ACA’s push and said the campaign would resonate loudly throughout regional Queensland.

“The Australian ETS will be the only one in the world that taxes emissions from mining of coal,” Roche said.

He said research undertaken by Concept Economics showed by 2030 the new tax on coal mines in Queensland would lead to 8000 fewer direct coal mining jobs and a similar number of lost jobs in support industries and foregone coal production in the state of 700 million tonnes.

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