The Nature Conservation Council calls on all candidates in the Upper Hunter by-election to outline a vision of how to help workers and communities deal with the inevitable decline and end of coal mining in the electorate.
“People in the Upper Hunter deserve honesty and hope but the political parties so far are only offering denial and delay,” Nature Conservation Council Acting Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford said.
“Whether you support coal mining or not, market forces, renewables and international pressures are driving its rapid decline.
“Anyone who has been paying attention knows it, including the workers and families of the Upper Hunter.
“So why do the major parties continue to spin fairy tales of an endless coal boom? It is disrespectful and dishonest.
“Coal mining will probably end sooner than any of us expected just a few years ago.
“This makes it imperative that candidates outline their vision for a diversified economy for the Upper Hunter that can support all the workers and communities through this transition.”
Candidates for the ALP, the Nationals and the Shooters Fishers and Farmers and the leaders of their parties have all come out strongly in support of continuing coal mining. One Nation, which has not yet preselected its candidate, also strongly supports the coal industry.