Hunter community groups will rally to send a message to the Albanese Government via his Resources Minister Madeleine King, who is attending a $120 a ticket lunch with the coal lobby as part of the self-promoting Hunter Coal Festival.
While Ms King lunches with the mining lobby, the community will call for an end to the fossil fuel industry’s influence on government, and for an end to new and expanding coal mines in the Valley.
Denman Aberdeen Muswellbrook Scone Healthy Environment Group Inc spokesperson Wendy Wales said, “Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016, the NSW Government has approved at least 26 new or expanded fossil fuel projects.
“The coal industry in the Hunter Valley continues to expand while making record profits at the expense of the environment, community health, cultural heritage, and social fabric of the region.
“The largest and most recent - the Mount Pleasant expansion - would be responsible for nearly 900 million tonnes of GHG emissions during its lifespan until 2048. Projects such as this totally wreck any opportunity humanity has to mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis - impacts that are already being felt around the world and right here in the Hunter Valley.”
Hunter Environment Lobby spokesperson Bev Smiles said, “Fossil fuel-driven climate change is playing a key role in the flooding rains that are devastating so many Australian communities this year.
“Yet Madeleine King appears tone deaf to the impact of her support for fossil fuels on increasing numbers of everyday Australians. She thinks it’s OK to come to the Hunter and chat over lunch with King Coal. Every single person whose life has been upended by extreme, climate-fuelled weather events has the right to be outraged.
“The multinational coal industry has too much influence over the Albanese and Perrottet governments. Madeleine King lunching with the mining lobby shows just how cosy their relationship is.”
Retired Singleton GP Dr Barry Thomas said, “The NSW Perrottet Government continues to approve new and expanding coal mines despite the urgency of the climate crisis. Right now, the Independent Planning Commission is considering whether to approve Glencore’s Glendell coal mine expansion and Yancoal’s Hunter Valley Operations Project won’t be far behind.
“According to the International Energy Agency, neither of these projects are compatible with a safe climate. No government anywhere should be considering approving new coal projects. It’s time, government ministers listened to local communities instead of rubbing shoulders with the mining lobby.”