CHINA COAL CALL EXPOSES MORRISON GOVERNMENT FAILINGS
16 December 2020
China’s reported plan to indefinitely block Australian coal exports has exposed the Morrison Government’s longstanding neglect of coal-dependent communities, according to Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon.
Ms Claydon said that the Newcastle-Hunter region would be among the worst-affected regions if the trade ban is confirmed.
“The vast majority of Australia’s coal leaves our shores from the Port of Newcastle, and China takes 20 per cent of our exports,” Ms Claydon said.
“If this trade ban proceeds, it will be a significant hit to our economy – costing local jobs and hurting the families that rely on the sector for their livelihoods.”
Ms Claydon said the Morrison Government spent years actively obstructing the creation of new markets and jobs in regional Australia, making the ban more damaging than it otherwise would be.
“We’ve been left highly vulnerable because the Morrison Government has aggressively blocked efforts to reduce our overreliance on coal, while it sabotaged any moves to a low-carbon future,” Ms Claydon said
“Newcastle has been left high and dry by a government that has no plan for the future – no plan to drive a low-carbon economy, no plan for jobs and no plan to protect communities like ours from these inevitable global shocks.”
Ms Claydon said it was ‘deeply disappointing’ that the situation had got to this point.
“This has been foreshadowed for months now, with coal ships lined up off the coast of China unable to offload since October,” Ms Claydon said.
“The fact the Morrison Government has allowed Australia’s relationship with China to deteriorate so dramatically is unacceptable.”
Ms Claydon also called on the Morrison Government to ‘get serious about diversifying our regional economy’.
“Newcastle has the potential to be a clean energy superpower, but the Morrison Government’s war on renewables, coupled with its failure to invest in new industries, has scared investors and put local jobs at risk.
“The Government needs to pull its head out of the sand and get serious about preparing our region for the future.
“It could start by pulling out all the stops to make the Port of Newcastle’s $1.8 billion Multipurpose Deepwater Terminal a reality.”