Promising Australia won’t tackle the climate crisis unless every coal worker’s job is safe is a cruel hoax designed to conceal inaction
Would the prime minister rule out protecting Australians from terrorism if it cost a single job? Would he promise that no nurse, teacher or other public servant would be sacked in pursuit of a budget surplus? Of course not. But when it comes to preventing dangerous climate change, the government whose policies closed the entire Australian car industry claims that every job is sacred. Yeah, right.
The one thing we can say with certainty about the coal industry is that, regardless of climate policy, automation will decimate coal communities in the coming decade. The coal companies sacked around half their workforce in the late 80s – the minute new technology let them – and the coal industry is gearing up to do it again. Adani promised its proposed Queensland coalmine would be automated “from pit to port” and the rest of the industry is publicly preparing for the same goal.
Morrison might not hold a hose when the bushfires are raging, but he knows how to put a fire hose on his colleagues