Coal still part of energy mix: Collie MLA

With the release of the state government's Energy Transformation Strategy, Collie has been assured its coal industry will be relevant for years to come.

Launched last week, the strategy outlines a plan to deliver cleaner and affordable energy.

Energy minister Bill Johnston said newer technologies were displacing the demand for energy from traditional sources such as coal and gas. 

He said coal mining and electricity generation was expected to continue for at least the next decade, despite declining levels.

“There is no specific timeline, a transition in Collie has already begun. Work on an Economic Development Plan for Collie-Bunbury, including a Just Transition Plan for coal sector workers, is underway.

This plan will identify new industry, employment, up‑skilling and training opportunities."

Collie Preston MLA Mick Murray said he was in contact with local companies and the unions to minimise the impact of the transition.

“Our policies to support Collie are focused on attracting industry and creating jobs. Collie has many strengths as an industrial hub," he said.

The state government expect to see a decline in coal within WA's energy mix by 2030 but Mr Murray said this didn't mean less demand for the resource.

“It's too simplistic to directly compare the predicted growth of renewables in WA’s energy mix with a reduction in overall coal demand," he said.

“WA’s population continues to grow – and with that comes an ever-increasing demand for energy. This means that while coal is expected to see its share of the energy mix decline – this does not necessarily mean we will see the same decline in overall demand for coal.

While coal’s proportion of the energy market may decline, it will inevitably be part of a larger ‘pie’ as WA continues to grow.”