THE Minerals Council of NSW (‘‘Mining’s part in the Hunter Valley’’ Letters, 21/6) criticises several recent reviews of coalmining in the Hunter, citing recent research by the Productivity Commission on government assistance to industry.
However, the Productivity Commission does not measure all forms of industry assistance. When support such as the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme (a $2billion annual subsidy to mining), the Hunter Valley Corridor Capacity Strategy ($855million), various tax deductions and (most importantly) state government assistance is counted, mining is a big winner from government handouts.
Government assistance to mining will increase, while support for agriculture and manufacturing is declining. The Clean Energy Future Policy will provide $1.4billion to coalmining over the next five years – much more than manufacturing will receive to support its carbon-tax transition. The Energy Security Fund provides $5.5billion to keep the dirtiest coal-fired power stations running.
There is a good reason why manufacturing receives government assistance: the employment multiplier effect is more substantial than for coalmining.
Professor Linda Connor, Dr Stuart Rosewarne
University of Sydney