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Bathurst’s job losses shows coal not sustainable

25 February 2014

Bathurst’s job losses shows coal not sustainable

The National Government’s plan for digging and drilling our way to economic prosperity is coming undone, the Green Party said today.

Today, coal mining company Bathurst Resources announced it is making 29 staff redundant and signalled a delayed start to its open-cast coal mine on conservation land on New Zealand’s Denniston Plateau.

“Once again Nationals’ obsession with fossil fuels has failed to create good jobs for New Zealanders,” said Green Party mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“National is backing the wrong horse.

“If our largest employer, manufacturing, got even half the attention that National lavishes on the jobs-poor mining sector, we would have a lower unemployment rate and more Kiwis in good jobs.

“National has concentrated on mining, which employs just 6,000 people in total, while 40,000 jobs have been lost in manufacturing.

“Even the National Government itself acknowledges that coal is a dying industry, so it’s crazy that National thought it was a good idea to open up the conservation estate to more coal mining.”

The Petroleum and Minerals Sector Report released by the National Government in September 2013 showed that exports of coal and oil were declining and stated that “most of the easily mined resources [of coal and gold] in New Zealand are close to exhausted” and “increasingly unprofitable”.

“The Denniston Plateau is conservation land for a reason; this rare and stunning landscape and wildlife are worth protecting. Denniston should not be ripped open in order to dig up more climate-polluting coal,” said Ms Delahunty.

“For a country that depends on a stable climate for its agricultural exports and markets itself to the world as clean and pure, trying to dig up more climate-polluting fossil fuels is economic suicide.

“We should be investing in jobs-rich sectors with proven success records like hi-tech manufacturing and IT,” said Ms Delahunty.

ENDS

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