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Greens say Hunter needs identity shift away from coal

Charlotte McCabe with Greens leader Adam Bandt in Newcastle in February.

Newcastle Greens candidate Charlotte McCabe says she supports her party's proposed $1-per-tonne levy on coal exports and that the Hunter needs to find a new identity based around green manufacturing.

Greens leader Adam Bandt released more details of the party's climate and energy plan on Thursday, including the $1 levy on thermal coal and $3-per-tonne levy on coking coal.

The Greens had already committed to phasing out mining for thermal coal by 2030 and coking coal by 2040. The Hunter mining industry is based around thermal coal exports.

The Greens also propose setting up a $19 billion fund guaranteeing coal workers' wages for 10 years.

Ms McCabe said she backed her parties' policies, including the levy.

"I think it absolutely makes sense that the mining industry contributes to solutions to the problems it has helped create," she said. "I believe in a polluter pays system."

The major parties' promotion of mining while trying to attract new industry sent a "mixed message".

"The Hunter has an incredible opportunity to look to the future and say we are going to be a world leader in green manufacturing, but we can't do that if we remain committed to extending coalmining," she said.

"We need an identity shift. We have to be clear about what our identity is. We can't have it both ways."

Ms McCabe said the rapid expansion of commercial activity around RAAF Williamtown and strong interest in the Hunter Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone showed the benefit of governments sending clear signals to the private sector.

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