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Net Zero To Hammer The Hunter: Eraring Job Losses Up 40%

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11 May 2022

“The net zero emissions by 2050 target, supported by both major parties, will inflict irreparable economic and humanitarian damage on the Hunter Valley,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs.

New research released today by the Institute of Public Affairs, The employment consequences of the early closure of the Eraring power station, shows job losses resulting from the early closure of the Eraring power station will be at least 40% higher than initially anticipated, with around 1,400 workers to become unemployed immediately upon closure.

In February Origin Energy announced it would dramatically bring forward the closure of its Eraring coal-fired power station to mid-2025 from the original date of 2032. Initial estimates had suggested around 1,000 workers are directly or indirectly employed by Eraring.

“The early closure of Eraring and associated job losses are a direct result of the net zero emissions by 2050 target, yet the Coalition and Labor refuse to be honest with the community about the true costs of net zero.”

“The Hunter Valley is the ‘canary in the coal mine’ for what happens when resources jobs and investment are destroyed by net zero and there is nothing there to replace them.”

“The promises of billions of dollars of investment in so-called ‘green energy’ and all the ‘green jobs’ that come with it simply do not exist. For every one renewable job created over the past decade, five manufacturing jobs have been destroyed,” said Mr Wild.

The research report applied and extended the methodology developed in a 2019 analysis of the local employment effects of coal-fired power stations titled Closure of coal-fired power stations in Australia: local employment effects published in The Australian Journal of Agriculture and Resource Economics.

“Many of the jobs which are being destroyed by net zero are high-paid and full time. For example, some 95% of all jobs in the energy generation sector are full time, compared with around 60% for a typical job in the Hunter region,” said Mr Wild.

The new research comes on the back of a landmark report released by the Institute of Public Affairs in April, The economic and employment consequences of net zero emissions by 2050 in Australia, which found:

  • At a minimum, all coal, gas and oil projects in the construction pipeline must be cancelled to achieve net zero by 2050.
  • Over 478,000 new jobs cancelled, preventing 21,800 jobs being created in the Hunter.
  • Over $11.5 billion economic cost in the Hunter region, which is the equivalent to 20% of annual gross regional product.
  • $274 billion cost to the Australian economy in forgone direct and indirect
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Daniel Wild

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

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