Issues facing Griffin Coal are extremely concerning from both an energy security perspective for industry and WA households as well as the job security of Collie coal workers.

“We have known for many years that there are major structural issues within the WA coal-fired power industry due to the rise of renewable energy which has substantially reduced the demand from base-load generators,” said Liberal Leader and Energy Shadow Minister Dr David Honey.

“There have also been major financial issues facing the coal industry for a number of years, including Synergy having to write-off $600 million in assets, Bluewaters Power Station completely writing off the value of its coal-fired power asset, difficulty in getting finance and now this highly unusual situation with Griffin Coal.

“Griffin Coal supplies the Bluewaters Power Station which provides electricity to Synergy and Water Corporation.  So, Labor Minister Johnston needs to act now to ensure electricity and desal water supplies will not be interrupted and to explain how long fuel security may be impacted.

“We know that WA Labor is closing Muja 5 coal-fired power station next year and Muja 6 in a couple of years.  However, Energy Minister Johnston has not articulated a clear plan on how to deal with energy supply security or the broader transition for the industry.  This is despite spending millions and setting up the sub-department of Energy Policy WA that reports directly to him.

“My concern is that history could be repeating itself.

When last in government, Labor’s failure to plan and invest in the energy system resulted in power blackouts, elderly Western Australians being unable to turn on their heaters due to the Varanus Island debacle and a legacy of having to replace hundreds of thousands of power poles because Labor allowed the network to literally fall over in places.

“WA Labor needs to come clean on what its plan is to provide energy supply security for Western Australia.

“Simply putting your head in the sand about the future of energy is dangerous and irresponsible and provides no clear direction for the people of WA nor does it provide new jobs or diversify our economy.

“Western Australia needs a clear energy plan to deal with the rapidly changing energy system, in particular, how energy security can be maintained and how communities impacted by coal-mine closures can have their local economies diversified to participate in future jobs industries like hydrogen, lithium and critical minerals value-adding”.