PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Miners Union has called for the establishment of a national Energy Transition Authority amid announcements that coal-fired power stations in both Victoria and Queensland would be fast-tracked to closure.
The Queensland government this week announced plans to exit coal-fired power stations to progressively become clean energy hubs from 2027, with the infrastructure to include gas and later hydrogen-powered stations.
Meanwhile, energy provider AGL on Thursday announced its own plans to exit from all coal-fired power generation, and is targeting the early closure of its Loy Yang A power station up to ten years earlier than previously announced.
AGL will exit coal-fired generation by the end of 2035 and will accelerate its transition to an integrated low-carbon energy leader, the company said.
In response to the announcements, Mining and Energy Union general president Tony Maher said all governments needed plans to support an orderly transition and protect the interests of affected workers and communities.
“There are some good transition initiatives at a state level, but the scale and complexity of this change in our economy can’t be left to states to manage alone.
“There is a growing consensus that we need an overarching plan to coordinate closures, drive real industry diversification in energy regions and develop industry-wide schemes to support workers through this profound technological and economic change.
“Regular announcements from around the country of power station closures coming forward show that the timetable is moving quickly and we can’t wait any longer for a serious, national policy response.
“The workers and communities who have powered Australia for decades deserve a place at the centre of policy-making at this time of rapid change. The next step should be a national Energy Transition Authority that can work cooperatively with state and regional bodies to plan and support a fair and orderly transition,” Maher said.