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Australia's shock election shows killing coal mining is no sure thing - Russell

Coal News - Published on Tue, 21 May 2019

Image Source: Reuters UK
Mr Clyde Russel wrote in Reuters that while Australia's opposition Labor Party is the obvious loser from the weekend election, the anti-coal environmental lobby suffered probably a bigger blow and will need to re-think its strategy to end mining of the polluting fuel. The conservative Liberal Party-led coalition is likely to have pulled off one of the great political escapes by returning to office for a third term, confounding polls and pundits who thought Labor was a near certainty to win the May 18 election. While Prime Minister Mr Scott Morrison may not secure an outright majority in the 151-seat lower house of parliament, results indicated that Labor, led by former unionist Bill Shorten, would have no chance of victory. One of the battlegrounds between the two major parties in the campaign had been climate change, with Labor promising far stronger action that the Coalition, which counts among its parliamentarians several who are decidedly pro-coal and sceptical of the science of climate change.

Mr Morrison, prior to becoming the third Liberal leader in five years last August, once brandished a lump of coal in parliament in a show of support for the mining industry and the use of the fuel in generating electricity

The Liberal victory means the coal mining and coal-using electricity sectors have been spared a Labor government that would have in all likelihood made it harder for them to grow.

A returned Liberal government is likely to pursue policies more friendly to the coal industry, while at the same time being cautious on expanding support for renewable energy.

"Start Adani," was a two-word tweet from Resources Minister Matt Canavan, about 2 3/4 hours after voting closed on May 18, when it was starting to become clear that the Liberals were about to pull off a stunning victory. That was a reference to the Carmichael mine in Queensland state being proposed by India's Adani Enterprises, which is bitterly opposed by environmentalists who say the world can ill afford the pollution that will result from the burning of its 8 million tonnes a year output.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 21 May 2019
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