AMMA calls for ‘properly planned’ power station closures

AMMA has called for future closures of coal-fired power stations to be properly planned to avoid risking Australia’s long-term energy security and leaving people jobless.

The advice was provided to a Senate Environment and Communications References Committee inquiring into the long-term transition from coal-fired power stations to renewable energies, including policy mechanisms to speed up the process and mitigating the economic and community impacts.

“Australia requires genuine and constructive policy discussions on our energy future, including on the emergence of renewable sources and ensuring we meet our international obligations such as those agreed in Paris,” AMMA head of policy Scott Barklamb said.

AMMA has called for a National Energy Transition Plan be developed, including harmonised renewable energy targets, that ensures affordable, reliable and secure energy and delivers measured transitions that are as fair as possible for employees, communities and the industry.

“We are also concerned about naïve optimism that the renewable energy industry can seamlessly pick-up all jobs lost from coal-fired power stations,” Mr Barklamb said.

“Unfortunately, there is minimal geographical commonality between Australia’s current coal-fired power stations and where our potential for renewable energy will emerge.

“Even if former coal-fired power station employees had perfectly transferable skills and experience, most would have to relocate to find employment.”

The Committee’s interim report is due by 28 November 2016, with a final report by 1 February 2017.