LET’S start with a bit of a word definition study. coal – n: A combustible black or dark brown rock consisting chiefly of carbonised plant matter, found mainly in underground seams and used as fuel.
Simple, really. And with modern technology can produce enormous amounts of power and can be as clean as a whistle.
I’ve often scratched my head and wondered why most proponents of 50 per cent-plus renewable energy targets would want such uncertainty in their day-to-day lives.
Especially when it comes to providing medical services and certainty for the job creators of our country, let alone the sheer cost of it.
Primarily mined in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, coal is used to generate electricity.
Although most of the coal mined in Australia is exported mainly to eastern Asia, where it could be argued the care for the environment we have here is more than easily accounted for.
Australia is the fifth-largest producer of coal, and by proportion, we are the second-largest exporter of coal in the world, with most of the exports going to Japan.
According to the Minerals Council of Australia, there are more than a thousand coal-fired power stations under construction around the world at this very moment. We could do with a couple here.
Japan, the largest importer of Australian coal, is planing 45 new high-energy, low-emissions coal-fired power plants.
The power plants will utilise high energy, low emissions (HELE) technology that use high-quality black coal sourced from the very ground we call ours.
Yet, mention the phrase “build a coal-power station in Victoria” and the hysteria against it is akin to the witch scene out of Monty Python’s Holy Grail.
In Victoria, we have at least 500 years’ worth of brown coal resources available in Gippsland alone.
It is nothing short of a national tragedy if we do not utilise what we have in the ground, coupled with our cleaner technology, to produce electricity so as we can remain a competitor in a global market.
Business located on the Border and north-east are dealing with unnecessary burdens with inadequate supply and costs that have increased 100 per cent in some cases over the past three years.
The fact is, our job providers have been unable to access affordable, reliable base load power.
This has restricted their capacity to grow their existing operations and that, at the end of the day, costs us jobs.
Hazelwood didn’t close because the demand of coal-fired electricity has been replaced by wind turbines or solar panels. Far from it.
Brave governments make brave decisions. A new-coal fired power plant utilising high energy, low emissions technology on the site of the now closed Hazelwood plant is, for me, a no brainer.
This, coupled with hydro-electricity from Lake Buffalo, will guarantee energy supply for our local producers and employers, create many jobs and keep energy prices at a competitive level.
It is a shame that those who desire to push 50 per cent-plus renewable energy targets onto our population do not think of those disadvantaged people in our communities who are right now deciding if they can afford to turn their heaters on or not. That doesn’t sound like 2017 thinking to me.
Marty Corboy is the Nationals’ federal electoral district council chairman.
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