December 18, 2017

Coal port announcement signals urgent need for transition

NEWCASTLE, December 18, 2017: Australia strongly supports the statement today by the new chair of the Port of Newcastle, Emeritus Professor Roy Green, about the need to move beyond coal for the Port, for Newcastle and the Hunter.

Globally, 2017 has been the year of the big shift from coal to renewables,  as banks and financiers, insurers and investors and forward-looking governments around the world publicly state what is clear to keen observers. Coal’s heyday is past.

“For the Hunter and the Port of Newcastle moving beyond coal is a seismic shift,  and one which will generate real fears about the future of the region’s economy. But Professor Green is right when he says that the long term outlook for coal means the region must diversify. And he charts a future of great economic opportunity and prosperity,” said Glen Klatovsky, deputy CEO of Australia.

When the BHP furnaces closed in 1999 Newcastle had gone through a massive shift from steel manufacturing, managing the transition well as government worked closely with business and the community.

“For a positive future to become reality we need governments to be more focused on a just transition to a post-coal regional economy. The Hunter is a beautiful region with an existing tourism industry, agricultural wealth, world-class wineries and horse studs. Newcastle has great education resources, a vibrant health sector and the region has huge potential in renewable energy.”

“ Australia is keen to work with the Port of Newcastle and the people of the Hunter to ensure there is a fair, supported transition away from coal, to be an active part in an exciting future,” said Mr Klatovsky.


For interviews contact:  Glen Klatovsky on 0410 482 243

For media assistance contact:  Louise Fraser on 0438 9930 68