Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has launched a broadside against the environmental opponents of the privately owned Denniston mine project. To do this Stephan Joyce has tried to draw a bow linking those who wish to stop the opening of the Dennistion mine, with the closing of the Spring Creek mine.
The Forest and Bird Protection Society has branded Joyce’s comments as “mischievious” and “opportunistic”.
Let’s get this clear.
Everyone has been told this, including the Minister. Spring Creek is being closed because to the falling global price of commodities, especially coal, due to the recession and falling global demand.
The Minister is drawing a very long bow to suggest otherwise, and he knows this.
But he is doing it for a reason and his target is very clear.
For those of us concerned about climate change, to which burning coal is the single greatest contributor, it is an inescapable fact that we need to work with the West Coast communities that currently rely on coal as their mainstay industry….
On the other side….
Joyce and his fossil fuel mates are opportunistically trying to take advantage of the suffering of the West Coast workers and their communities to remove all environmental safeguards. Listen to his complaints about environmental “mitigations”, specifically his complaint against raising climate change. Joyce is a liar. The Minister is trying to get these workers on his side when it is he who is attacking them.
Blaming environmentalists for these job losses is a lie. This is clearly not the position in this case.
For misleading the public, the Green Party should be demanding that Joyce be forced to apologise in the house.
Because Spring Creek and Denniston are both coal exporting mines in competition with each other in a shrinking market, It is in the interests of the Spring Creek mine and the Greymouth community that Denniston never open.
Opening Denniston in the hope that coal prices will eventually recover. (dubious as this argument might be). Is the same argument being put by the workers and their union for keeping Spring Creek open. With the world slump in coal demand, to have in existence an already producing mine competing in the same area of the market, is a dagger in the heart of the Denniston project.
The publicly owned Spring Creek mine is in direct competition with the privately owned Denniston project.
The question must be asked;
With Solid Energy on the market – has possible private investor in Solid Energy, namely Bathhurst Resources, requested as a condition of sale that Spring Creek be closed?
Would an Official Information Request, if granted, reveal this?
Is Spring Creek being closed because it makes the Denniston project unviable?
Do, the underground workers of Spring Creek and the anti-coal lobby have a common interest in seeing that Denniston never opens?
Does the minister know this?
Is this the reason the Minister is trying to turn the Greymouth community’s anger against Solid Energy against the environmental opponents of Denniston?