The Keneally government’s decision to run the Cobbora Coal Mine in NSW’s central west makes a mockery of the NSW Government's climate change targets, locking in the state’s unhealthy reliance on coal-fired power and rising carbon pollution, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“The NSW government has been forced back into the past of state-owned coal mines because the mining industry does not want to be locked into supplying artificially low priced coal to domestic coal-fired power stations,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer, Pepe Clarke, said today.
“The Keneally Government now finds itself stranded with old polluting coal-fired power stations with no supplies of cheap coal. Instead of investing tax payer’s money into a $1.3b new coal project, more jobs could be created in the renewable energy industry.
“The additional 30 million tonnes of coal from the Cobbora mine will prop up polluting fossil-fuel power while holding back much-needed investment in clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.
“We cannot let the Keneally government get away with driving an increase in coal-fired power generation at a time when we need to reduce our emissions if we are to avert dangerous climate change.
“The project will also completely destroy good food-producing farmland, threatens local water supply to Mudgee’s wine and tourism industry and hinders opportunities for cutting carbon pollution.
“There is no such thing as ‘cheap’ coal-fired power – the government’s mine takeover merely shifts the environment, economic and health costs of coal to the whole community and leaves a tainted legacy for future generations.
“Any decision which has such huge implications for our future energy use must be taken in consultation with the community, and would be best deferred until there is more certainty around a possible carbon price and international climate change obligations,” Mr Clarke said.