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Opposition’s nuclear plans no help for coal power workers, says MEU

27 June 2024


The Mining and Energy Union (MEU) has voiced strong concerns over recent proposals to convert coal-fired power stations into nuclear power facilities, saying the plans will not provide timely employment solutions for workers affected by the energy transition.

“We are at a critical moment where workers are facing closures in the next few years,” MEU General Secretary Grahame Kelly said in a statement.

“Even if nuclear energy was a popular option, according to the CSIRO, the earliest a large-scale nuclear plant could commence operations is no sooner than 2040.”

The MEU says workers and communities urgently need viable new industries to support those facing imminent job losses in regions impacted by impending power station closures.

“Power stations in the proposed sites for nuclear would be long closed before the plants would become operational,” Kelly said.

“If no support is provided, those workers and communities will have already packed up their lives and moved on.”

Kelly called for an immediate and orderly transition that prioritises job creation, economic activity, and positive social outcomes for affected workers.

“Now is not the time for distractions. We need to be acting to deliver an orderly transition that focuses on jobs, economic activity in affected regions, and positive social outcomes for affected workers while we still have the chance.”

“We are also disappointed the Coalition has announced this policy with no consultation with these coal power regions about whether they want a nuclear future.” 

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