INDEPENDENT candidate Tracy Norman has welcomed the recent Future of Coal Strategy announcement but urged the NSW Government to “go further” by increasing public education investment and committing to no new or expanded coal mines.
The Future of Coal Strategy will act as a transition roadmap allowing the government to assess alternate energy projects, whilst setting aside funds to protect coal mining communities.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said “hundreds of millions of dollars” will be invested in mining communities over coming years to ensure jobs and investment however, Ms Norman says the Upper Hunter electorate needs more certainty.
“We need certainty, a one, three and five year plan on when this money is coming, how much and where it will be spent,” Ms Norman said.
“A strong, spelt-out commitment is needed now or local and overseas investment money looking for [transition] opportunities will go elsewhere,” she said.
Ms Norman also urged the government to invest in public education including TAFEs, to equip workers for new opportunities.
“These are among the measures that increase the liveability of communities and attract much needed doctors, other allied health professionals and others to our towns,” Ms Norman said.
“It’s great to see the Government taking note and acting on the candidates’ individual and combined advocacy through this by-election campaign. If this is the only thing we have achieved then we have achieved a great deal,” she said.
For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election.