Coal is essential for keeping the lights on and boosting economy - The Courier Mail

When Australians turn on their Christmas lights this year, on average, 60 per cent of them will rely on coal to power their festive display.

For those of us on the East Coast more than three-quarters of the power will come from coal.

Incredibly, the Labor Party is trying to turn out the lights as an unwanted Christmas present, calling for the closure of all coal fired power plants.

The very same Labor Party which once claimed to support workers is now supporting the loss of jobs in the coal sector and the end of cheap power in Australia.

Last month Bill Shorten went to the Hazelwood coal fired power station in Victoria and cried crocodile tears for workers.  He said he is not “a rampant greenie”.

But this week his energy spokesman Mark Butler confirmed the closure of power stations is front and centre of Labor’s policy.  Labor has endorsed a Senate report that says “the question is not if coal fired power stations will close, but how quickly and orderly these closures will occur”.

This is a slap in the face for the tens of thousands of Queensland workers who rely directly on the coal sector, and it recklessly compromises our energy security.

Last year the Queensland Labor Party campaigned strenuously against workers at coal fired power stations having a private sector boss.  This year they want to put those same people out of work.

You would think the ideological opponents of coal would have learnt a lesson from the South Australian imitation of North Korea a couple of months ago.

The last coal fired power station in South Australia, the Northern Power Station, was shut down in May.

The South Australian Government trumpeted the closure, saying the power station “was past its day”.

In September, South Australia experienced the first statewide black out since the 1960s.

Coal remains our second biggest export.  We are exporting record amounts and it’s earning our country about $35 billion a year.

The coal industry, along with iron ore, was one of the big reasons we avoided the global financial crisis.

We can now say that we are entering our 26th consecutive year of economic growth.

However, the Labor and Greens alliance wants to destroy our competitive advantage that comes from affordable electricity and high quality coal.

The coal doesn’t become dirty on the boat on the way to China.  If it’s ‘dirty’ here, it’s ‘dirty’ there.

Why would we export an important, energy-producing, job-creating resource to another country to create jobs there, but deny that resource to job-creating industries here?

The 900,000 people employed in manufacturing rely heavily on access to cheap, baseload power.

There is no way to have a competitive manufacturing industry without baseload power.  We can’t smelt aluminium with batteries.

Australian jobs rely on us getting this right.

They rely on us keeping our competitive advantage in coal and cheap power.  If we don’t have cheap power we will have two other choices forced on us; cheap wages or no jobs.

I vote for coal and lots of good paying Australian jobs.

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