Collie coal mining jobs safe for now – but we need to plan for the future

Published: 7 Aug 2019

The retirement of two units at Muja coal-fired power station will not have any immediate flow-on impact on Collie coal mining jobs but there is no time to waste in developing a jobs plan for the region’s future, the Miners Union said today.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Secretary Greg Busson said that the loss of 80 power workers’ jobs at Muja in 2022 and 2024 would be a blow, but that the Government had done the right thing in providing advance notice and a commitment to supporting workers and the community through the process.

Premier Coal has provided coal mineworkers with assurances that their contract to supply coal to Muja has not been affected by this week’s announcement, meaning jobs are safe for now.

“The company is in the process of talking to all of their employees and given a commitment they will be kept informed if there are contractual changes in future that could affect jobs,” said Mr Busson.

“Changes in the energy sector are difficult and do create uncertainty for workers. We need all parties to be upfront about what the changes will be, who will be affected and how they will be supported.

“Coal-fired power will continue to be an important part of the energy mix in WA for decades, but its share of the market is declining with changes like the large uptake of rooftop solar.

“There are three years before the first jobs are lost at Muja. We welcome the Government’s commitment that those workers will have access to retraining and options for redeployment at other power stations. The WA Government has also committed to investing in Collie to develop a more diverse economy for jobs of the future.

“We will hold the Government to account for delivering on these commitments. Collie workers and the Collie community need transparency, time, planning and investment so they can make informed decisions about the future.”