Coal here for the long haul

Stephen Galilee CEO, NSW Minerals Council

2018 has been a good year for the Hunter coal industry. We’ve seen strong sustained coal prices, and demand at or near record levels, leading to more Hunter coal jobs.

Ongoing strong demand for coal across our main export markets including Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China has increased economic activity in the Hunter region leading to more opportunities for local businesses.

The improved business conditions have meant more money in local wallets and cash registers, helping to improve the local economy, and drive growth more broadly across the Hunter.

This year we’ve seen more signs that there is a strong future for our local mining industry. For example, the highly respected International Energy Agency estimates that growth in demand for coal in the Asia Pacific will more than double by 2040. This is good news for the Hunter, with our industry well placed to meet this demand.

Meanwhile the Greens’ have announced that they want to end all coal mining in NSW by 2030, a move that would cost $11 billion in revenue and more than 13,000 jobs over the next two decades. And just for good measure they also want laws to make coal mining a criminal offence!

It’s crazy, but with an election due in NSW in March next year it’s also a timely reminder of the need to support Hunter mining.

Most importantly, we need to support our hard-working miners and their families, supplier businesses, and our terrific mining communities that help deliver a strong and stable economy for NSW.

While I’m sure 2019 will bring challenges, the NSW Minerals Council will continue our strong advocacy on behalf of the Hunter coal industry, the mining families that rely on it, and for better outcomes for our wonderful mining communities.

I wish all our members, miners, suppliers and their families a Happy Christmas and safe and prosperous New Year.