A mining industry association and worker’s union has teamed-up to fight a political move to ban coal mining in Central Queensland.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and Queensland Mining and Energy Division of the CFMEU have rejected a new Bill to prohibit coal mining in the Galilee Basin.
In a joint submission to the Australian Senate QRC warned the Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition Bill), which the Australian Greens introduced, would cost jobs and have a minimal impact on global demand for thermal coal.
“The Greens’ Bill wants Queenslanders to give up our jobs and to give up on the economic prosperity of our state,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said. “The QRC is calling on both the Coalition and the ALP to clearly reject this Bill.”
Macfarlane believes the Bill does not “stack up”, describing it as an act of “self-sabotage” that would cost Queenslanders their jobs for no reason and without reducing global use of coal.
QRC said global demand for coal remains strong, and the International Energy Agency predicts it will represent about 40 per cent of total power generation in the Asia Pacific by the year 2040.
Macfarlane believes the Bill, if passed, could unintentionally increase carbon emissions because other countries with lower quality coal would be able to meet global demand for coal.
“A ban on coal mines in the Galilee Basin would come at the loss of an enormous economic opportunity for Central and North Queensland,” he said.
He points to the latest statistics from the Office of the Chief Economist in Canberra, showing 18,275 construction jobs would be supported if six major coal projects in the Galilee Basin come to fruition, adding a welcome boost to tax revenue.
“Even if just a quarter of the coal capacity in the Galilee was developed that would add up to $290 million in royalty taxes paid to the Queensland Government each year,” Macfarlane said.