Ex-union boss not worried about carbon tax impact

In my discussions with people around Cessnock and Kurri over the weekend it became clear that many think that the carbon tax will be imposed on each tonne of coal mined and that there will be massive job losses.This is not true.  It is emissions that will be taxed, not the production of coal.

It is good to see unionists come out and call a spade a spade – ie widespread  job losses are  a coal industry scare campaign!

James Ryan

Ex-union boss not worried about carbon tax impact

BY NEIL GOFFET, Newcastle Herald
18 Jul, 2011 04:00 AM

HUNTER coalmines will not close and no jobs will be lost as a result of the controversial carbon tax according to former mineworkers’ union district president Mick Watson.

NSW Minerals Council chief executive Nikki Williams said the new tax would cost thousands of jobs and force mine closures in NSW within three years of the tax being introduced in July next year.

But Mr Watson said it was just scare tactics to get the Labor government to reduce the impact on the tax that was introduced by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.

“When I finished in the mines eight years ago steaming coal was selling for $32 to $35 a tonne and everyone was making a quid,” Mr Watson said.

“Now they are selling it for $120 to $140 a tonne so the mines will survive and no one in the Hunter should lose their jobs in the coalmining industry.”

Gloucester Coal chairman James MacKenzie said the impact on the coal mining industry would equate to about $1 a tonne and said no investors in London had raised concerns.

Peabody Energy is regarded as the largest mining company in the world and Mr Watson said its decision to offer $4.7 billion for Macarthur Coal showed it was not worried about the carbon tax.

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