An October 29 report commissioned by CFMEU Mining and Energy union of Australia argues that government will need billions of dollars for comprehensive measures to support workers and communities in a move away from coal-fired power generation. It calls for consultation and participation in planning, and an independent statutory Energy Transition Authority . The Ruhr or Appalachia? Deciding the future of Australia’s coal power workers and communities examines case studies from around the world – both successful and unsuccessful – including South Wales (U.K.), Appalachia (U.S.), Singapore, Limburg (Netherlands) and the Ruhr Valley (Germany). Within Australia, the Hazelwood closure is judged as unsuccessful – due to a lack of advance planning – and the LaTrobe Valley experience as a positive model. The report concludes that advance planning is essential to success, with a national framework …“ International evidence tells us that such a framework will require active participation from companies, workforce union representation, and government.”
The Ruhr or Appalachia? report was written by Professor Peter Sheldon at the Industrial Relations Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. It includes an extensive bibliography of other studies of Just Transition. The report was commissioned by CFMEU Mining and Energy union, which represents over 20,000 workers, mainly in coal mining and also in metalliferous mining, coal ports, power stations, oil refineries and other parts of the oil and gas production chain. For briefer versions see the union’s press release “New Independent Authority Needed To Manage Transition For Energy Workers”, or a 4-page Executive Summary .