I wonder at the stupidity of our politicians who, in the name of progressing the economy to a balanced state in 2014, are prepared to allow jobs to be axed and enterprises closed down or operationally wound back.
What is happening in the coal industry goes a lot further than those who physically mine the coal. It impacts on their wives, partners and kids, contractors and their folk, suppliers of goods and services, local businesses, doctors practices and their staff, schools etc. Obviously coal's price is subject to market fluctuation but given the above surely it is the role of government to have some mechanism that can accommodate the highs and lows of the marketplace and prevent disruption and dislocation.
In a few years' time, when coal is again in favour, where is the labour and the infrastructure to support the workforce going to come from and at what cost?
Given the dividends the state has received from coal mining it would surely make more sense to tide the industry over the current difficulties rather than create a social and economic sore for future generations.
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