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New report shows how Hunter’s coal mining towns can seize renewable opportunities

A forthcoming report by Beyond Zero Emissions provides an excellent pathway for the Hunter region to embrace the business opportunities renewable energy offers and create a more diverse and resilient local economy.

The preliminary findings from the organisation’s Million Jobs Plan were presented overnight at a Hunter Renewal event and showed 50,000 sustainable job opportunities were possible for the Hunter Region over the next five years.

Hunter Renewal coordinator Danielle Coleman welcomed the plan, and said it was just what the Hunter needed as coal markets continued their terminal decline.

“We know from experience here in the Hunter and around the world that declining markets put coal mining communities at risk of profound economic and social harm from which many struggle to recover,” she said.

“This research by BZE offers an opportunity to avoid that economic and social catastrophe.

“We can achieve this by investing in great new opportunities for Hunter workers like manufacturing zero emission buses, retrofitting homes and businesses, land and revegetation projects and the exciting new opportunities of green steel.

“The Hunter region is uniquely vulnerable to changes in global markets for thermal coal as our overseas customers switch to renewable energy and that’s why this report is crucially important.”

Ms Coleman urged politicians and community leaders to read the report and use it to strengthen the Hunter’s economy.

“The Million Jobs Plan proposes nation-building, transformative projects that can upgrade our economy, modernise our industry, reskill our workforce and deliver a bright and vibrant future – economically and socially,” she said.

“What we need now is for our elected representatives and business leaders to get behind it.”

“Everyone in the Hunter agrees that we need a plan for a future that sets us up with new jobs and industries for the long-term, caring for people and the environment. This is a pathway to achieve that.”

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