The Ruhr or Appalachia?

Deciding the future of Australia’s coal power workers and communities
Coal Power resources Energy industries Skilled workforce Australia
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The Industrial Relations Research Centre at UNSW has carried out this project for the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union—Mining and Energy Division (CFMMEU). The CFMMEU sought a description of what would constitute a “best practice” structural adjustment program for coal power regions that would:

  • minimise and preferably eliminate forced redundancies
  • enable voluntary redundancies and early retirement to be spread across power stations and dependent mines in a region, or across the country
  • provide successful transfer of workers to alternative quality jobs
  • provide alternative economic development for the regions that would maintain or improve the situation of the regional community.

It was recognised that regional development opportunities are usually case-specific; that what might be an option for the Latrobe Valley in Victoria would not suit Collie in Western Australia. In this situation the CFMMEU sought advice on the architecture and scale of a successful regional development scheme.

It was expected that best practice would draw on international rather than only Australian experience.

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