NSW government launches framework to support Hunter region's energy diversification

The Future Jobs and Investment Authorities will play a major role in supporting the Hunter region's transition from coal to a diverse and sustainable economic future.

Newcastle harbour ship

The NSW Labor Government is launching the Future Jobs and Investment Authorities to help coal-producing communities transition to new industries as coal mines and power stations close by 2040. This new framework will support workers and communities in preparing for a future beyond coal.

The Future Jobs and Investment Authorities will be led by the Future Jobs and Investment Advocate, who will provide strategic advice and coordinate efforts across the government. The Advocate will be supported by a board, including representatives from regional authorities, unions, industry associations, and relevant government agencies. There will also be a dedicated office within the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to support local authorities, the Advocate, and the Board.

In the Hunter, a Regional Future Jobs and Investment Authority will be established with members from local government, community groups, unions, and the mining industry. This local authority will ensure that the specific needs and opportunities of the Hunter are addressed.

The new authorities will focus on promoting investment opportunities that align with the Hunter’s strengths, such as renewable energy manufacturing. They will also work on transforming closed coal mines into new facilities like motor park resorts, tourism centers, or clean energy sites. Additionally, the authorities will support local manufacturing by using existing infrastructure and skilled labor from the coal industry and ensure that workers have access to training and education to prepare for future job opportunities.

"Coal mining will continue to support thousands of local jobs and underpin the state’s energy grid for many years to come. But with global demand for coal projected to decrease over the coming decades, we want to ensure workers, communities and regional centres are given the support they need," Minister for Natural Resources Courtney Houssos said.

The new model replaces the previous Liberal-National Government’s Royalties for Rejuvenation and Expert Panels scheme, which was not integrated into the government effectively. The Future Jobs and Investment Authorities promise a more coordinated and effective support system.

Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley explained the importance of local input, saying, "A Hunter authority will ensure that local voices are heard and give us direct input to help drive investment, develop new industries, re-skill workers and enhance our already great manufacturing capability."

The NSW Government is inviting the public to give feedback on the proposed model over the next six weeks. This consultation will help finalize the plan, aiming to establish the new authorities by the end of the year. Minister Houssos added, "I’ve been hearing from workers, communities and industry about how important it is the government provides the right framework of support."

To read more about the NSW Government Future Jobs and Investment Authorities, go here.

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