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Collie councillors keen to lobby Government for commitment

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Collie shire president Sarah Stanley
Camera IconCollie shire president Sarah Stanley Credit: The West Australian

Collie shire councillors will seek support from key industry bodies in town to lobby the State Government for a commitment to retaining coal fired power stations.

Shire president Sarah Stanley said there was up to 21 years of coal supply left under current arrangements.

“We were seeking some surety about the longevity of that contract and to ensure the long term viability of the energy grid for all Western Australians,” she said.

“We are urging the State Government to continue with the existing coal fired stations until the end of those contracts and until there is a viable alternative.”

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Agreeing to the motion, councillors also approved a second seeking the support of industry to run an advertising campaign which would explain the demise of the coal mining industry was not imminent.

The calls come amidst recent uncertainty in the town which have lowered confidence levels of potential investors.

Cr Stanley said power generation and coal would continue to part of the town’s future for many years to come.

“We think that needs to happen in tandem with our diversification to ensure the long-term sustainability of our community,” Cr Stanley said.

“While looking at those opportunities to diversify we need to keep in mind the advantage we have as a centre that creates excess power, has a skilled workforce and an industrialised community.”

“Keeping those coal fired power stations going for longer provides opportunities for new industries.”

Coal mining companies, the Combined Mining Unions and the Collie Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be approached to support the council as it looks to lobby the State Government via Mick Murray.

Cr Stanley could not confirm how and when they would be approached.

Five councillors declared a financial interest in the item and left the room before the motions were discussed and passed unanimously by those that remained.

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