Carbon scheme ignites job fear
RALPH Hillman is a man on a mission.
He has just under two months to convince the Rudd Government that the proposed emissions tax on coal mines is flawed and will result in a loss of jobs.
With a monstrous task at hand, the executive director of the Australian Coal Association (ACA) wants your help.
He's calling on coal miners and businesses with an interest in the resources sector to contact their local member and voice concerns about the consequences of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) on regional communities.
Yesterday Mr Hillman launched a state campaign called CutEmissons, CutJobs in Mackay at G&S Engineering at Paget.
“The Australian coal industry accepts the science of global warming and supports action to reduce harmful carbon in the atmosphere,” he said.
“Our industry is spending a billion dollars over the next 10 years in developing technology to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power stations by up to 90 per cent. We need a fair law that does more to cut emissions, rather than jobs.”
Mr Hillman said for every direct coal job lost it's estimated that at least two more jobs will go with them.
“Shopkeepers, small businesses, council workers - everyone could be affected,” he said.
The Australian Resources Council (ARC) yesterday issued a statement in support of the ACA campaign.
Chief executive Michael Roche said the Australian CPRS would be the only scheme in the world that taxed emissions from the mining of coal.
“This new tax on coal mines will add a massive and punitive $7 billion to the Queensland coal industry's costs over the first 10 years,” he said.
However, the CFMEU mining and energy union, which represents more than 20,000 coal mine workers, has dismissed the ACA's claim that action on climate change would cost jobs.
“The reality is Australian coal mining companies are extremely profitable and will continue to be well into the future under the CPRS,” CFMEU national president Tony Maher said.
“This scare mongering is purely a cynical bid by mining giants to squeeze more money in compensation out of taxpayers.”