Greens get on the Bandt wagon

THE Greens are firing up their anti-coal crusade lest their calls to ban mining the black stuff be drowned out by assorted climate change warriors and emotionally-charged child activists.
Greens get on the Bandt wagon Greens get on the Bandt wagon Greens get on the Bandt wagon Greens get on the Bandt wagon Greens get on the Bandt wagon

With their former leader the mild-mannered Victorian country doctor Richard di Natale opting to put family before politics they replaced him with coal-hater-in-chief Adam Bandt.

Bandt has wasted no time in getting stuck into coal - in his first day in his job he decided to advocate slugging coal producers with a levy to pay for fire fighters.

The levy on coal - which would also cover gas and oil producers - would be set at $1 per tonne of carbon dioxide produced.

Bandt claims this will generate an extra $1.5 billion a year and can be used to fund almost 16,000 additional regional and metropolitan fire services jobs.

He knows there is nothing like getting the rubber to the road, especially when the road in question has probably been paid for by royalties generated by the coal mining industry.

Meanwhile in NSW, the Greens want to wipe the state's multi-billion coal industry off the face of the earth.

This scorched earth policy is being advocated by Greens MP Jenny Leong in the form of a bill before the NSW parliament.

"We have no doubt that NSW has to quit its addiction to coal, that the old parties need to break their toxic relationships with the big polluters and that coal mining will one day be prohibited in our state," she said.

Leong claims the bill will also provide just transition provisions to protect workers employed in thermal coal related industries.

What exactly did she have in mind? Training in basket weaving and renewable energy installation?

While Leung and her Greens mates in the inner Sydney suburb of Newtown are keen to save the planet with their proposed legislation, the real people working in the world class coal industry in the Hunter Valley or the Illawarra have a different view.

Not only are they providing a good income for their families and contributing to their communities through the mining of clean coal in a regulated and environmentally responsible way, they are building wealth for the whole state.

This wealth is then redistributed to places such as Sydney where the Greens can mount their protests.

Unfortunately, this cycle of shrill protests and anti-coal legislation is likely to continue as long as the green movement believes it can attract attention to itself and silence the real story of Australian coal.