IPA Today

Net Zero Already Destroying Jobs In Regional Australia

Written by
17 February 2022
NET ZERO ALREADY DESTROYING JOBS IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

“The early closure of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station is a direct consequence of net zero policies being pushed by governments and big business in Australia and globally”, said Daniel Wild, director of research at the Institute of Public Affairs.

Today Origin Energy announced it will close Australia’s largest coal-fired power station at Eraring, located in the Hunter Valley region, in mid-2025 compared with the original 2032 closure date.

The plant employs around 1,000 Australians and generates a quarter of New South Wales’s electricity.

“Today’s announcement is a direct consequence of Scott Morrison’s commitment to net zero emissions made in November last year. Net zero is already destroying jobs and critical industry in regional centers like the Hunter,” said Mr Wild.

“These job losses are just the beginning. Entire regional towns across NSW and Queensland will be decimated by net zero emissions.”

The announcement by Origin underscores research of the Institute of Public Affairs, which identified that up to 653,600 jobs would be put at risk by a policy of net zero emissions by 2050. The research also found that the job losses would be concentered in industries such as agriculture, coal mining, and heavy manufacturing.

Further IPA research identified that close to 15% of all jobs, around 10,000, in the electorate of Hunter could be destroyed by a net zero emissions target. Sadly, today’s announcement confirms this research.

“Closing coal-fired power will make Australia more vulnerable to an increasingly hostile and aggressive China, which is currently constructing 92 new coal-fired power stations while Australia is shutting ours down.”

“Net zero and red tape are forcing coal off the market by giving preferential market access and government subsidisation, to wind power and solar panels. Approximately 90% of solar panels imported to Australia come from China.”

“Australia’s commitment to net zero emissions and the growing red tape burden are no longer just economic concerns, they are a threat to Australia’s national security,” said Mr Wild.

Previous IPA research on the impact of net zero emissions on jobs can be found here and here.

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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs

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