The New South Wales Government will establish future jobs and investment authorities in its coal-producing regions.
The new authorities will be established in the Hunter region, Illawarra, and the central west and north west areas of NSW to create jobs, re-skill workers when necessary and to advance economic diversification.
The authorities will work with the Federal Government’s Net Zero Authority to support workers, industries and communities to seize transformational opportunities.
The Net Zero Authority aims to support the Federal Government’s aspirations of Australia becoming a renewable energy superpower.
To discuss the future of the Hunter region specifically, more than 60 stakeholders from mining companies, unions, energy producers, industry groups and universities joined a roundtable hosted by NSW Minister for Natural Resources Courtney Houssos, NSW Minister for Energy Penny Sharpe and Mayor of Cessnock Jay Suvaal.
The roundtable, held in Cessnock, served as an opportunity for the stakeholders to provide their insights and perspectives on how the authorities should operate, as well as discuss the Hunter region’s central priorities.
Houssos said it is vital to consult with workers from the industry to better understand what support is needed.
“We want to ensure no-one gets left behind and that they are well prepared for the opportunities in the future,” Houssos said.
“We know our future productivity will rely on the economic diversification and workforce planning that we do now. That’s why we are working with local stakeholders to identify ways we can help workers and their families in mining regions prepare for a strong future.”
Sharpe echoed similar sentiments.
“The coal sector in NSW is changing. It is vital we work with coal communities to take action now to ensure NSW’s economy and these communities continue to grow and prosper,” Sharpe said.
“We know there is already substantial work underway and clever ideas being generated from the Hunter, and so it’s timely that the NSW Government listens and learns from our important Hunter stakeholders to bring together and build on what has already been done.”