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The 2015 revised edition of CANA’s report Jobs After Coal: A Just Transition for New Zealand Communities was released on the 2nd of May, in conjunction with a speech CANA organising group member Jeanette Fitzsimons gave at the May Day celebrations in Blackball.

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Since May 2014, when we released the original edition of this report, world coal prices have continued to drop, and in New Zealand, coal mining companies have continued to lay off workers without the slightest concern or provision for the communities they live in. This was underlined just five days after the 2015 version was released, when Solid Energy announced it was getting rid of 151 more positions at its Stockton mine.

While the mining companies and the Government offer nothing, CANA’s report addresses how communities and workers can prepare for the end of coal mining, and lays out pathways that communities and regions can follow to move away from coal and into low-carbon jobs.

When the original Jobs After Coal report was released in 2014, it got a good reception, but community leaders weren’t always ready to say positive things about it on the record. This time round, they’ve been much more ready to support the Just Transition approach we advocate.

Many local and national politicians have known for some time that we have to move away from coal, but they haven’t been willing to say so publicly for fear of being accused that they were anti-worker or anti-jobs. Now that the coal jobs are going anyway, well-researched alternative approaches are looking a lot more attractive.

Jobs After Coal has also had a lot of positive media coverage in the month since the 2015 edition was released. Here’s a selection:

Radio NZ: West Coast Considers Jobs After Mining  – which includes this quote: “Buller District Mayor Garry Howard has embraced the recommendations in the report ‘Jobs After Coal’, written by Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CANA), but said its success would depend on the efforts of all communities on the coast, and government buy-in.”

NZ Herald: Stockton mine job losses: ‘A painful situation’

Newstalk ZB: West Coast analysing jobs landscape

TV3: Solid Energy cuts 113 jobs at Stockton mine

The Press: Stockton Mine axes 151 jobs