Source: EPMU – Government must fix the mess it created at Solid Energy

The Government must take responsibility for the role it has played in Solid Energy’s current financial crisis, and support the company which has returned $600 million to the country over the past decade.

“The Government has pushed Solid Energy to the brink with constant, unrealistic demands for returns, turning a blind eye to appalling management mishaps and governance failures,” says Ged O’Connell, EPMU assistant national secretary.

“Now they’re hinting that they’ll just make the problem go away, with the endorsement of the rightwing shell lobby group, the Taxpayers’ Union.

“That’s not what’s best for New Zealand.

“This isn’t just about miners. Many jobs rely on New Zealand coal mining. With our current technology, we need coal to smelt steel. Our railways and construction industry rely on coal mining.

“Closing down Solid Energy will not mean our industries stop using coal – it just means importing it from countries like China and Indonesia instead of here.

“New Zealand taxpayers would much rather see their money spent on real jobs supporting our communities, rather than shady casino deals and big payrises for Cabinet ministers.”

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.