Greens Newcastle By-election candidate Michael Osborne has called on the Planning Assessment Commission considering the controversial T4 coal loader project to seek further advice about the impact of the recent decision by China to stop importing ‘dirty’ high ash coal.
“This decision will impact Australian coal and the Hunter Valley specifically. The justification proposed by the proponent has changed and the PAC needs to consider the implication of the Chinese decision”, Greens candidate Michael Osborne said.
“I’ll be writing to the Commissioners asking them to consider the new circumstances for T4 given the Chinese decision.
“The last thing Newcastle needs is a white elephant sitting on some of the city most valuable public space. I think there is an argument to be made that this decision substantially undermines the already shaky economic justification for the T4 project.
“There is an alternative to coal for Newcastle Port which can be about clean jobs for Newcastle’s future. It would be a disaster for T4 to be approved and for this land to be effectively sterilized while global uncertainty about the long-term future for coal grows.
“Arguments from the Australian Mineral Council that this decision won’t impact on the industry don’t stand up. Using more of our valuable water washing ‘dirty’ Australian coal is not acceptable.
“The failure of the NSW Mineral’s Council to even respond to the Chinese decision shows these arguments are difficult to defend.
“This isn’t the first policy decision by the Chinese Government to restrict coal consumption or its pollution and there are suggestions of more to come. As a state that has relied heavily on coal exports, we need to understand the impacts as part of any major decision on coal infrastructure.
Around 40 million tonnes of thermal coal coming out of Newcastle each year goes to China.
Tim Buckley from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis recently stated that”Australian exports of thermal coal to China are definitely going to be materially affected, far more so than many of our international competitors such as Indonesia”
Michael Osborne 0439 442 984
Justin Field 0439 205 835
Michael for Newcastle
Jane for Charlestown