Radio station 2GB – the home of Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Steve Price and a range of other shock jocks – has literally buried its head in the ground for a radio broadcast, with afternoon presenter Chris Smith presenting his show live from a coal mine in the NSW Hunter Valley.
In partnership with the Minerals Council and Centennial Coal, Smith broadcast his show 2km deep into Myuna Colliery at Lake Macquarie. (The word ‘Myuna’ comes from the indigenous word which means ‘clean water’).
“Can I say that having strolled around the water surrounding the mine, the water is certainly clean. So clean I should have brought my fishing rod,” marvelled Smith, who also noted with some satisfaction that he came across no “Greenies” at the coal mine. “I guess they are at work. Maybe,” he said.
In an interview with CEO of the NSW Minerals Council Stephen Galilee on Tuesday, Smith asked tough questions such as: Was the independent and former Green Jeremy Buckingham up to speed with HELE coal technology? And did he knew how important coal was to the Hunter area?
“He wants to cause an economic catastrophe in the Illawarra,” Galilee said.
“He must be one of the greenies who has had too much of that green cordial,” Smith replied, before continuing: “Now Stephen, it’s a lie isn’t it that the private sector don’t want to invest in new coal, isn’t it?”
“That’s right. The fact is coal doesn’t stack up politically, but it certainly stacks up financially and environmentally, particularly with this new HELE technology”, Galilee said. “It’s discriminatory to support renewables with subsidies but not coal.”
So, the point being, that investors in coal won’t do it unless they get a huge subsidy from the government, and an indemnity over their emissions, which could be in the billions of dollars. Meanwhile, the subsidies for renewables are falling rapidly and virtually non existent, but 2GB made its thoughts clear with the title of its Facebook post: “Economic chaos”: The renewable energy threat.
Next up was another interview with former Rugby League Newcastle Knights players who, as it happens, now work in the mining industry.
Newcastle Knights recently signed on for another three-year partnership with the NSW Minerals Council. The partnership means some home games will be played in regional mining towns, and in Round 5 an annual Voice For Mining family day will take place, where players will wear a high-viz version of their home kit.
“Look at you both, it must be the coal in the air or something, it must be the elixir of youth!” Smith declared. “You guys haven’t changed in looks since you were running around with footballs in your hand in the 2000s.”
The underground interviews follow on from Liberal MP Craig Kelly’s appearance on the show last week, where Kelly blasted political and public opposition to building new HELE coal mines. (HELE is a marketing term coined by the coal industry to stand for high efficiency, low emissions, although critics say it should be high emissions, low efficiency).
“You can build all the wind turbines you like, but when the wind doesn’t blow you got no electricity,” Kelly lamented, before sprouting some nonsense about the number of coal plants being built and the nature of battery storage.
“There are hundreds of coal plants being built around the world to lift people out of poverty, and here in Australia we are shutting them down, sending people deep into poverty. You need 1000 of the world’s largest battery plants (like that in South Australia) to feed the grid.”
No you don’t.