NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon says the approval of a fourth coal terminal for Newcastle will lock the people of the Hunter into an expanded local coal industry at a time when the world is turning its back on coal.
"There is no future in coal. Even the federal government's MYEFO report predicts a flatline of the price of thermal coal well into 2016," said Senator Rhiannon.
"A new coal terminal locks the people of the Hunter further into a system that is already failing them.
"The NSW Planning Assessment Commission itself states that ‘there is no immediate need for the fourth coal terminal', yet they have suggested the terminal be approved with construction due to begin within five years.
"The Planning Assessment Commission has returned to form becoming a rubber stamp for bad NSW government policy.
"If the fourth terminal is built, there are only two options: dig up more cheap, dirty coal in the region or risk the terminal becoming a stranded asset.
"Neither of these outcomes can deliver a jobs rich, strong economic future for the people of the Hunter.
"I congratulate the people of the Hunter region for their strong campaign to develop clean energy manufacturing; to stop the spread of coal dust along the coal chain from mines to Port Newcastle; and for being passionate advocates for action on climate change
"While the T4 project still has to return to the Planning Department and undergo a final assessment from the Commission, the campaign against the terminal will continue.
"The Greens will stand with the people of the Hunter until the NSW government faces the reality that there is no future in coal, that there is no need for T4 and that we can find a better way," said Senator Rhiannon.