Greens new tax on jobs and families would hurt NSW

September 29, 2015

“The Greens’ proposed new tax on coal companies announced today would cost jobs in regional NSW, particularly in the Hunter and the Illawarra where thousands of people rely on coal mining for their livelihoods, as well as threatening tens of thousands more people that work in the 8,200 NSW businesses that supply the mining industry across our state,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today. 
“Coal provides NSW with more than 80% of our electricity, so this new tax would increase the cost of electricity production and force up power prices for families and businesses across the state.  It’s a dangerous policy that will hit vulnerable low income families the hardest.”
“Typically, this new tax proposal from the Greens is based on anti-mining fairytales and not facts,” Mr Galilee said.  
Demand for NSW coal continues to grow in our key Asian markets, with figures showing coal exports out of the Port of Newcastle and Port Kembla rose by 3.1% and 7.2% respectively over the last financial year. 
NSW coal exports to Korea are up 9%, exports to Taiwan have risen by 10% and across the rest of Asia outside of Japan and China, exports have more than doubled to 19.75 million tonnes over the last year.  There’s also been strong growth in demand from India with NSW coal exports to India rising by 110% over the last financial year.  
In the first week of August, Port Waratah Coal Services announced it had broken the record for coal loaded for export in a single day - 495,000 tonnes.  This reflects ongoing strong demand for NSW coal, which continues to be by far this State’s most valuable export.
The Greens’ claims on rehabilitation costs are also not supported by the facts. Mining companies already pay an environmental bond to cover rehabilitation costs in the event they do not complete rehabilitation satisfactorily, with those bonds not returned until rehabilitation is complete. There is currently $1.9 billion held by the NSW Government for this purpose. 
Further, modern mining operations progressively rehabilitate areas that have been mined, with the latest rehabilitation techniques delivering excellent results including returning mined land to productive grazing and cropping land, and the delivery of high quality conservation outcomes. 
The Greens’ constant attacks on mining in NSW has seen their vote fall in NSW, particularly in our mining regions. 
In the seats of Upper Hunter, Cessnock, Maitland, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Keira the Greens vote fell at the last state election. The Greens also suffered a 1.2% fall in their statewide vote in the Upper House, and failed to win a third seat in the Legislative Council.
“The Greens have tried to talk the coal industry out of existence. That hasn’t worked so now they’re trying to tax the industry out of existence. They should produce some constructive suggestions instead of lazy new tax proposals that target working people, mining families, and communities across regional NSW.”
Contact: Nat Openshaw | | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1463

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