Nationals ‘spare change’ transition fund won’t support coal jobs: Miners Union

Published: 21 Apr 2021

The $25 million a year ‘Royalties for Rejuvenation’ fund announced by Deputy Premier John Barilaro comes with no plan for jobs and is little more than spare change, the Miners’ Union said today.

CFMEU Northern Mining and NSW Energy District President Peter Jordan said the transition fund would leave coal miners scratching their heads.

“I’m bewildered by what the Nationals think $25 million a year spread across all NSW’s coal regions – from the Illawarra to Mudgee to Boggabri - will actually do for jobs,” said Mr Jordan.

“Given the $1.6 billion in royalties this Government raked in from mining last year, $25 million is a piddling amount.

“It’s not a treasure chest, it’s spare change. It’s a fraction of what they’ve just handed over to Shenhua for the Watermark mining lease debacle.

“This is not a serious investment in coal communities and comes with no plan for the jobs coal workers are supposed to ‘transition’ into.

“If this Government wants to support coal communities it should get behind the multiple existing coal mines around the state - employing workers and supporting coal communities right now – that are up against it trying to get extension plans approved.

“Instead it has apparently established a fund for their closure.

“Coal miners are sick of being used as photo opportunities for politicians who think they can be bought off with cheap and insulting thought bubbles like this.”