Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray has called for action to secure Collie’s coal industry, saying low coal prices and high production costs have placed the future of the town’s two coal mines at risk.
Mr Murray wants to establish a series of ‘think tank’ sessions to work through pricing and supply issues.
‘‘Coal produces about 40 per cent of the State’s power and coal is purchased under a State Government supply agreement that is just not paying enough per tonne,’’ Mr Murray said.
‘‘It’s time that the Government, industry representatives, peak bodies and union groups go t together and worked out a way forward to ensure that Griffin Coal and Yancoal remain financially sound.’’
Premier Colin Barnett has ruled out State-owned utilities Synergy and the Water Corporation paying more for power to enable the power stations to, in turn, pay more for coal.
Mr Barnett said the State Government was concerned about Griffin’s operations but it was not up to the State Government to ‘‘prop up’’ commercial agreements.