Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan says a ban on coal mining proposed by the Greens would devastate regional economies.
“The Greens plan reported in the media this morning would cost the jobs of 44,000 people directly in the industry in Australia and the $6 billion a year they receive in wages,” Minister Canavan said. “Much of that impact would be felt by families and communities in regional areas of Queensland and New South Wales, where every job is precious.
“Of course, the true impact would be far greater, as the loss of jobs and earnings cascaded through businesses supplying goods and services for the coal mining industry and also through government budgets that benefit from coal company taxes and royalties.
“Coal exports this financial year are expected to be worth $40 billion, income our economy can’t do without. Australia’s earnings from coal exports help us pay for hospitals, schools and other vital services and infrastructure.”
Minister Canavan said federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale was expected to launch the policy today on behalf of the NSW Greens.
“The policy is just loopy. While coal mining is vitally important to the Australian economy – and to regional economies in particular – we account for just 7 per cent of world coal production. Wanton destruction of our industry by the Greens would have little if any impact on use of coal worldwide.
“Let me be clear: the Coalition Government supports the coal industry and the hard-working families in coal regions. We want to increase the job opportunities provided by the coal industry,
“By contrast, the Greens would destroy the industry and the lives of tens of thousands of families.
“Let’s face it, the Greens are anti-mining, anti-manufacturing, anti-farming and anti-growth. If it was up to the Greens, we would all be working in a cottage industry producing pixie dust.”