14 February 2020

Tim Dunlop: “[W]e constantly hear that the main argument in favour of something like the Adani coal mine is that it will create a lot of jobs. Jobs are lauded as the primary benefit for Australians. But of course it isn’t true. Modern mining simply doesn’t need that many humans, and in fact, mining is one area of work where arguments over automation just about don’t exist amongst anyone except deceptive politicians. Everyone realises that mining is increasingly done by machines, with relatively few humans involved, and that in many cases, a robot has already taken your job.” Just look at WA coal town Collie — it is going to be the home of automation training for the mining industry, replacing thousands of jobs around the country (and around the world) with tens of jobs monitoring automated systems. Instead of fetishising “coal jobs” and “coal communities” we need to start preparing for the imminent future with less coal and a lot less coal employment.