Yancoal, a mining company controlled by the Chinese government, is bidding for a massive stake in Newcastle Port, one of our most important national assets. This is a direct threat to our energy security and to jobs in the Hunter Valley.
As part of the deal, Yancoal would gain the power to hire and fire the CEO and chairman of Newcastle’s biggest operator, Port Waratah Coal Services – the organisation that physically loads the coal onto the ships.
Other companies that use the port are totally opposed to this arrangement, because it would give China enormous power over the port operator and the prices it charges.
It has been reported that other major miners in the Hunter Valley are calling for this powerful right to be removed from a company owned by the Chinese Government.
There have also been calls for conditions to be imposed that would limit the size of returns to shareholders that PWCS can make – in other words, the amount of profit Yancoal could strip out from the port.
Hunter Valley miners who rely on this vital port and employ hundreds of Australians in the region are worried about this deal. We should be too.
We can’t let the Chinese government turn the port into their own strategic tool, putting jobs at risk and threatening the livelihoods of ordinary working people.
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