Nuclear Plans Fail to Address Coal Workers’ Immediate Job Concerns: MEU

Australia, Workforce

Nuclear power stations are not the solution for workers in the coal-fired power industry facing job losses due to the energy transition, the Mining and Energy Union (MEU) stated on June 19, 2024. The union criticized the Coalition’s announcement of seven coal power stations as potential nuclear power sites, arguing that workers and communities need immediate alternatives rather than distant promises.

“The clock is ticking; we need to be focusing our efforts on delivering an orderly transition for the thousands of workers and their communities who are staring down the barrel of the energy transition now,” said MEU General Secretary Grahame Kelly. With the earliest large-scale nuclear plant not operational until 2040 according to the CSIRO, Kelly highlighted the urgent need for support for workers and communities.

Kelly emphasized that the focus should be on jobs, regional economic activity, and positive social outcomes for affected workers. He also called for meaningful consultation with coal power regions regarding a nuclear future. “Now is not the time for distractions,” Kelly said, urging policymakers to act before it’s too late.