Two Labour Governments, two coal mines

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, February 7th, 2018 - 13 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, Conservation, Economy, employment, energy, Environment, global warming, sustainability - Tags:

In the case of the massive Adani coalmine proposed for Queensland, Labor (Queensland majority) are clearly putting out feelers for what it would be like to kill the project, but form an economic development package that could replace those lost jobs and economic uplift.

There’s an inner-city seat in Melbourne that might be up for grabs by either Greens or Labor, and coal mines feature in that electoral debate.

In the case of the Bathurst coalmine on New Zealand’s West Coast, the coalition government is being deeply unhelpful by refusing Bathurst’s request to buy up a further coal mine for future expansion.

In both the Australian and New Zealand examples the question has to be raised about trading further rural votes for central urban votes, but National have failed to make traction on the west coast.

South Australia is also sending the signal that it no longer requires coal-fired electricity generation (separate of course from steel-making coal).

The difference in action from the New Zealand labour-led government and the Australian Labor movement is clear: New Zealand is taking action to stop new coal mines, Australian Labor is testing the electorate.

For New Zealand at 4.5% headline unemployment, tourism high, and yet plenty of underused people across New Zealand, this is the optimum moment to close coal mines down.

13 comments on “Two Labour Governments, two coal mines”

  1. Cinny 1

    Thrilled that our new government is blocking the proposed re-opening of the Sullivan mine at Denniston. The West Coast needs to move away from mining, so many many job losses they’ve had over the years due to coal mine closures. The coast needs new industries and re training for miners, because for many of them it is the only job they have ever known.

    If you’ve ever seen an open cast mine in real life you’ll understand how massive and destructive they are.

    Don’t forget Talleys role in mining…. this from 31 October 2016

    “One of New Zealand’s leading food companies has joined forces with a mining company to buy three mines from collapsed state mining company Solid Energy.

    More than a year after the state-owned mining company was placed into voluntary administration to protect it from collapse, the sale of its assets was released on Monday.

    The most notable purchase sees Talley’s – a major Motueka-headquartered food producer, partner with Wellington-based Bathurst Resources in buying the Stockton mine on the West Coast, as well as the Rotowaro and Maramarua mines in the Waikato.

    The purchase is in a joint venture, Phoenix Coal, with Talley’s Group, which will own 35 per cent of the project”

    • Matiri 1.1

      So that’s why Talleys contributed to Maureen Pugh’s unsuccessful election campaign as National candidate for West-Coast Tasman.

      • Cinny 1.1.1

        Talleys usually donate to both the blue and Red local candidates in our electorate. But it was rather interesting to note how many other nat candidates PT gave money to.

        It does explain his on going donations to nick smith, who was minister for the environment at the time of the 2016 article

        As for maureen, she’s just a useless puppet I doubt that PT thinks much of her at all.

        PT = Peter Talley, my ex boss

    • Antoine 1.2

      > The coast needs new industries and re training for miners

      I doubt many coal miners would retrain. They’ll go to mining jobs overseas, surely?


      • Ad 1.2.1

        Snapped up before you blink.

      • Cinny 1.2.2

        Maybe, depends on their family commitments. Ex husband used to work off shore for up to 4 months at a time, it was not an easy time for me with a newborn, a three year old and a full time job. Sometimes the money just isn’t worth it.

        Then there is the location, a dusty desert or pristine rainforest. However each to their own.

  2. greywarshark 2

    From former post from Anthony Robins on mining problems , which our present Labour Coalition government appears to be taking to heart (as well as the hard commercial consideration of our government bank balance). Coal mining ended up with the country piling up more in costs than earnings; only earning us bad publicity as stupid, irresponsible, inept bumblers and indeed in uncountable financial opportunity cost:

    Another deregulation fiasco

    Now deregulation is being identified as the underlying cause of the Pike River disaster. This has already been commented on in the international media: “A DECISION to relax mining regulations a decade ago has put the New Zealand government in the firing line ahead of a royal commission of inquiry into the collapsed Pike River mine”. Testimony at the inquiry yesterday further strengthened this claim:

    Safety changes led to Pike River explosion
    The explosion that ripped through Pike River mine last year had its origin in changes to mining regulations in the 1990s, a former chief inspector of coal mines told the Royal Commission into the tragedy today.
    The commission is inquiring into the disaster at the West Coast coal mine in November last year which left 29 miners and contractors dead.

    Giving evidence this morning, former chief inspector of coal mines Robin Hughes, who has over 40 years of coal mining experience, criticised mine safety changes made by the National Government in the 1990s.

    “The explosion at Pike River mine..had its origins in the repealing of the Coal Mining Act and regulations in 1993,” Mr Hughes said.

    “The unwillingness of government officials up to and including the Prime Minister of the day to act on advice offered by a number of individuals resulted in the loss of a robust coal mines inspectorate, staffed by the most experienced and skilled personnel available.

    I can’t remember exactly which gummint got behind Pike River mine, but this one is operating in present day thinking and knowledge, and looking to the future, which is pressing on us to make changes tomorrow or the day after.

  3. Jack Ramaka 3

    Previous Governments couldn’t ensure the safety of mine workers here in NZ so I think it is a wise decision to move away from fossil fuels, there is better energy solutions available now in the modern world.

  4. Jack Ramaka 4

    Previous Governments couldn’t ensure the safety of mine workers here in NZ so I think it is wise decision to move away from fossil fuels, there is better energy solutions available now in the modern world.

  5. timeforacupoftea 5

    Will Winston support Labour on this or will they give support to the Westcoast Councils and workers.
    Should be interesting.

  6. red-blooded 6

    Why would NZF want to rock the boat this early in? Besides, it’s not a new law – it doesn’t need majority support. It’s within the ambit of the relevant Minister and she has exercised her right to decline permission to purchase the land.

    I do think we have to acknowledge that Eugenie Sage, the relevant Minister, is a Green MP. Good on her for following through on Green priorities and good on Ardern and Shaw for appointing her.

  7. Sparky 7

    They need to do what the French have done and simply put an end to it…..permanently

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