Coal2020 deferred because of protest fears

ONE of Australia’s leading coal conferences, Coal2020, which was scheduled to take place at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales next month, has been called off just as climate change protestors threatened to blockade the event.
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University of Wollongong in NSW where the Coal2020 conference would have taken place next month.

In a statement on the conference website, the UOW said the conference had been deferred as part of a short-term refocusing of university priorities.

"While this conference provides a valuable forum for sharing best practice and innovation in safety and environmental performance for the mining sector, the university has considered the immediate needs of its communities at this time and adjusted its priorities accordingly," it said.

"The Mining Engineering Group in UOW's Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences will continue supporting industry innovation via other means while options for a future forum are explored."

Illawarra Climate Justice Alliance organiser Martin Cubby said the decision was a win for the climate movement.

"The university holding a conference about how to extract more coal and make more profits from the coal industry should be unacceptable in this town," he said.

Conference organisers said all registered delegates that paid registration would be refunded by the UOW Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences.

"Options are for a future conference date are being considered and will be advised in due course," they said.

"The university considers this conference to be valuable forum for sharing best practice and innovation in safety and environmental performance for the mining sector and recognises the importance of the mining sector to the Australian economy.

 "The Mining Engineering Group in UOW's Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences will continue supporting industry innovation via other means while all options for a future forum are explored."