Coal Mining Industry Faces Uncertain Future

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Lockyear rob.lockyear@qt.com.au

ONE hundred and fifty years of coal-mining in the Ipswich region could soon come to an end if the Federal Government goes ahead with its emissions trading scheme, it has been claimed.

The city's pits once employed thousands of workers, but there are now just two mines still working employing 174 people.

New Hope, which owns the two mines north of Rosewood, has warned that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's environmental plans could see the last two mines close for good.

Industry bosses say the government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) will increase their costs by $10 billion over five years.

Federal Parliament is expected to vote on the plan next month.

New Hope corporate development manager Dennis Brown-Kenyon said the firm recently re-opened the Jeerbropilly mine because the price of coal had soared.

However, he said under CPRS Australia would not be able to compete with cheaper coal producers in Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa.

"They are not subjected to this scheme," Mr Brown-Kenyon said.

"That makes us less competitive. …