Australian Workers’ Union says new coal caps leave manufacturing industry exposed

Image credit: Australian Workers' Union

The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) said the new coal caps passed by the New South Wales Parliament today would leave industry exposed by not capping the price of coal sold to steel, chemical, and cement facilities. 

The NSW Parliament ratified a bill capping the price of coal used for electricity generation. 

The move was advocated for and backed by AWU. 

However, Daniel Walton, national secretary for the AWU, noted how the laws are leaving behind major employers. 

“The main reason our union has been campaigning so hard for a cap on coal prices was that we knew steel, chemical, and cement producers were facing unsustainable prices. Worryingly, that will still be the case under the legislation passed by the New South Wales Parliament today,” Walton said.

Under the legislation, factories that purchase coal directly for their operation will not be affected by the caps, which means uncertainty for their future operations in the state. 

“Thousands of quality jobs depend on these industries in New South Wales. I am surprised and disappointed that the new laws have not been designed to protect these workers,” Walton added. 

“I note that the State Opposition Leader, Chris Minns, has pointed out this gap in the legislation today. Given Parliament was specially recalled to deal with this crisis, I understand the support he has given the existing package. But it does leave the problem unaddressed.”

The AWU secretary concluded his statement by urging the NSW government to amend the legislation as soon as possible for the industry to survive in the state and continue powering toward a clean future.