A new energy source with Bayswater 2

Filed in Just In by April 30, 2021

BOTH One Nation Leader Mark Latham and their candidate for the Upper Hunter seat, Dale McNamara were at the Bayswater Power Station in Muswellbrook today to announce their plan for a new coal-fired power station, but the question still begs who will build it?

The Labor party and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) have said they support a new power station being built in the Hunter, but no private company has been found to partner with the government.

The proposed new station, Bayswater 2, drew the interest of the CFMEU Northern Mining and NSW Energy District president Peter Jordan who said the union would support a new coal-fired power station.

One Nation leader Mark Latham said the coal-fired power station will create thousands of jobs and energy security and was not only vital to the economic future of the Upper Hunter but to the entire state.

To the question of who will fund it, Mr Latham said they will put forward a proposal and if Mr McNamara gains the balance of power in the by-election, they will follow the normal tender processes and put out tenders for expressions of interest.

“There will be thousands of jobs in construction, hundreds of jobs in operations as well as energy security. Nobody in the Federal or State government has worked out what do we do when the wind’s not blowing and the sun’s not shining. You need an energy mix. A coal-fired power station is a logical part of that, it’s worked in the past and it’s the logical way to keep the lights on,” Mr Latham said.

“Coal is critical to the future of the Upper Hunter, but instead of just selling it overseas, we should be using it right here for energy security and bringing down electricity prices”, Mr NcNamara said.

“Matt Kean’s 100% renewables plan, supported by the Nationals, Labor and the Greens, won’t be able to keep the lights on in NSW, destroying industry and jobs,” he said.

“Other parties are talking about coal because of the by-election, but this is the real test: using our coal locally to create jobs and power up the industry.”

Labor candidate Jeff Drayton, at BHP in Mt Thorley yesterday laid down a five-point plan to be incorporated into planning legislation to protect coal workers.

Labor’s proposal states when a mine applies for any modifications to planning, it must comply with a set of conditions for approval:

  1. Mining companies must directly employ 80 percent of their workforce;
  2. Gaol time for mining bosses convicted of breaching new industrial manslaughter offences;
  3. The ‘fit and proper person test’ applied to require mining companies to engage in safe practices;
  4. Labor hire workers to receive the same pay as directly employed workers, and
  5. A local jobs test, which ensures as mine sites become automated they meet a “no net job loss” test.

One Nation voted 60 times in favour of coal and the tens of thousands of jobs it provides in the Upper Hunter.

The Liberal-Nationals Energy Minister Matt Kean has said that all fossil fuels must end in NSW in 14 years’ time. In November in the NSW Parliament, the Nationals, Liberals, Labor and Greens voted 60 times against coal and in favour of 100% renewables.

That’s coal, gas, petrol-driven cars and most of our jobs gone. Nationals Leader John Barilaro has said that a Net Zero 2050 policy in NSW will kill mining and agriculture, yet this remains the Liberal-Nationals Government’s policy,” Mr McNamara said.

“The Nationals/Labor/Greens policy for 100% renewables is also destroying the countryside from Merriwa to Gloucester with monstrous wind towers and transmission lines,” he said.

“Under One Nation’s plan to build Bayswater 2, there will be no need for this destruction of prime agricultural land and farm life. We will Stop the Spin.”

The 2000MW Bayswater 2 power station concept plan was approved in 2010 but then abandoned “as the major parties went green”.

Mr Jordan, speaking on Safety in the coal industry in Cessnock earlier in the day said members would support the new station as well as members of the community.

“We’re not afraid of it. Black coal is going to be here generating power for many, many more years to come. We would welcome it. If One Nation is proposing it, then tell us who’s going to build it and we’ll get behind it and we’ll support it,” Mr Jordan said.

The One Nation plan to build Bayswater 2 involves:

  1. A public-private partnership between the NSW Government and the private sector.
  2. $800 million in government seed funding over the forward estimates, drawn from the Singleton/Muswellbrook mining royalty money that’s never returned to Upper Hunter.
  3. A $1 billion saving in transmission line costs, as with Bayswater 2 the government will no longer need to fund as much of its new transmission connections to the New England and Orana Renewable Energy Zones.
  4. Giving Bayswater 2 the same financial incentives and underwriting in Matt Kean’s Electricity Roadmap as renewable energy currently receives, thereby facilitating the $3 billion private investment needed to complete the project. Energy industry experts have said that this competitive and technological neutrality is much needed and will make Bayswater 2 work in practice.
  5. Acquisition of the site from AGL, which needs the money given its internal management turmoil and falling share price.

For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election.

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