"It’s an awful situation because the Australian economy since the second World War has been built largely on the undiminished reserves of coal. We used to be living off the sheep’s back through our very robust and lucrative wool industry. Now it’s the commodities, with Australia being one of the world’s biggest exporters of all the major commodities from iron ore to coal, to manganese, to nickel, to zinc, to boxite, everything. That’s built the Australian economy as a commodity trader. We’re a big mine. Everybody jokes about that, but we are a big mine. So the awful difficulty for us is that when you come to coal and environmental questions it’s almost like you’ve got to pick up a fork and stab yourself in the eye if you’re going to do anything about diminishing our reliance on coal both for domestic electricity and to export. And that’s where the debate stands because we’ve had a debate about the carbon tax leading to a trading scheme. That’s being played out as well in the usual Australian bitter resentful way.
Categories: Australia Energy Issues
Author: Dr Ziggy Switkowski