Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon and Greens Senate candidate Michael Osborne have commented on the Greens’ National Plan to secure Mining Jobs in Mine Rehabilitation, launched today.
The plan builds on the Greens’ After Coal plan, which would:
- Audit all coal mines to determine the gap between secured rehabilitation bonds and the actual cost of rehabilitation
- Develop a tailored plan for each company to pay into a newly established mining trust fund to secure rehabilitation jobs
- A separate $1 billion Clean Energy Transition Fund to help workers and communities by creating jobs and funding retraining
The Greens’ plan to secure Mining Jobs in Mine Rehabilitation would:
- Secure funding for rehab jobs up-front
- Establish national inquiry and a Mining Rehabilitation Commissioner with $2 million in funding per year to develop national standards for mining and resources rehabilitation, and help to secure jobs
- Mandate the filling-in of ‘final voids’ instead of leaving toxic lakes
- Mandate corporate transparency on rehabilitation funding
- A $1 billion Clean Energy Transition Fund
Greens Senate candidate Michael Osborne said: “Our coal industry is in structural decline and transitioning thousands of jobs will be one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.
“The Greens are fully prepared to meet that challenge – our Renew Australia plan would create much-needed jobs in renewable energy, our Beyond Coal plan would assist with retraining and a Clean Energy Transition fund, and our Mine Rehabilitation plan would establish even more jobs.
“We will have to tackle this transition, and the earlier we do it the better off our workers, communities, economy and environment will be.
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said: “As well as the thousands of jobs in renewable energy, which would be created with the Renew Australia plan, our Mining Rehabilitation plan would immediate create new jobs in communities which are most at risk from the decline in coal.
“As we inevitably transition away from coal fired power and coal mining, we need to make sure that all workers are protected. That involves helping the Hunter to become a hub for renewables and it involves income support for retrenched and redundant coal workers.
“We also need a strong TAFE system to retrain workers and it involves creating new jobs in mining rehabilitation.
“At the moment toxic ‘final voids’ are allowed to be left open and can become polluting lakes, and just one aspect of our plan is creating jobs to fill in those pits.
“In NSW mining companies plan to leave 45 of these voids open – that is over 6,000 hectares that could become toxic polluting lakes. To put it in perspective that is bigger than Sydney Harbour.