Thursday, 14 September, 2017
Recent discussion about Australia’s energy future has focused on AGL’s planned closure of the Upper Hunter’s Liddell power station. Liddell’s future - and energy in the Hunter more generally - were the theme of the Upper Hunter economic breakfast in Muswellbrook on 20 September.
AGL Macquarie’s General Manager Kate Coates discussed the Liddell and Bayswater power stations, which are due to close in 2022 and 2035, respectively, along with investment in cleaner energy technologies.
A panel discussion on the topic had Kate Coates joined by Professor Richard Bush of the University of Newcastle’s International Centre for Balanced Land Use. Other panelists are Geoff Doherty, PhD, of Ethanol Technologies and Pat Conroy MP, Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy.
Putting this discussion into context, the HRF Centre released at the breakfast its latest Upper Hunter Region Economic Indicators. The Centre’s Lead Economist, Dr Anthea Bill reported that renewed business and consumer optimism in the Upper Hunter economy continues in the first half of 2017.
“Our data show that confidence in the long term among businesses and consumers remains above the lows experienced in 2014 and 2015. Renewed confidence is likely a result of higher thermal coal prices sustained over the first half of the year. That has boosted activity and employment in the Upper Hunter mining sector.”
The Upper Hunter economic breakfast was held at Muswellbrook RSL on Wednesday, 20 September.
Download Newcastle Herald Opinion Piece by HRF Centre's Dr Anthea Bill