Independent NSW MP Justin Field has called on the NSW Government to abandon plans to open up the Hawkins Rumker coal exploration area near Rylstone in the state’s Central Tablelands.
The call follows an announcement by the Chinese President yesterday that China will stop funding overseas coal projects. In the last decade China has been a major funder of new coal fired power stations around the world, particularly in developing countries, as part of its Belt and Road initiative.
Market analysts have suggested as much as 54 Gigawatts of currently proposed coal fired power stations around the world would be affected by the announcement. This represents more than twice the total currently installed coal capacity in Australia.
Independent NSW MP Justin Field said, “Resources Minister John Barilaro should walk away from the Hawkins Rumker coal exploration push and give the local community certainty over their future.
“This announcement means there will be a shrinking market for Australian coal exports and any new coal exploration cannot be justified.
“It makes no sense to open up a new greenfield area to coal exploration which brings long-term uncertainty to the community and negative impacts on other industries, especially agriculture and tourism.”
The Hawkins Rumker coal release proposal covers an area over 325 square kilometres between Mudgee and Rysltone in the Central Tablelands and is currently being considered under the NSW Government’s Strategic Release Framework for Coal and Petroleum Exploration.
“It is inconceivable a new greenfield coal mine will ever be approved given the stalling global coal market. But if it did, it would almost certainly become a stranded asset and a liability on the local community,” Mr Field said.
“The focus needs to be on transitioning existing coal communities, not further entrenching an industry that has no long-term future.”