The biggest coal companies are all in Australia and a growing number are now owned by local communities.
The latest news is that the company run by the mining magnate Tony Coking Coal will sell its assets in NSW and Queensland to the Queensland Government for $US7 billion.
The company will also close a coal mine in the northern part of the state, and will stop operations in Victoria.
The sale will allow the Queensland government to sell its coal mines and the Government has announced that the Queensland National Electricity Market Authority will become an independent agency to oversee the transition to renewable energy.
The coal industry is still the most popular with Queenslanders, but it has seen a huge drop in its share of the electricity market.
Photo: Supplied A survey of 1,000 people by Essential Data for ABC News found that about half of respondents preferred coal-powered electricity, while a further quarter preferred gas-fired power.
About 50 per cent of people said they did not like coal in their home and only 20 per cent liked it in their workplace.
About 70 per cent said they would prefer to see the state’s coal mines closed.
The Queensland government is also aiming to reduce its emissions by 20 per one tonne by 2030.
It has announced the State-Owned Enterprises Scheme (SOSES), which will allow businesses to transfer their operations to community-owned entities.
The scheme will allow small businesses to retain their business in the community and sell their assets to community organisations, with the proceeds going back to the community.
More than half of Queenslanders say they do not want to buy more coal Source: Essential Data Queensland government says the SOSES will enable small businesses “to retain their businesses in the communities” and to sell their coal mines to community groups.
This includes the sale of some mines to the state.
But it will also allow communities to own their own mines.
Community groups are worried about the impact of the sale on their own communities, especially in the inner-city of Ballarat, where there is an abundance of coal.
Community activist and former Ballarat City Council member Chris Rolfe says the sale will lead to a “loss of local control”.
“I think that is a very dangerous precedent to set, particularly in a state that has been so successful with its coal mining,” he said.
Mr Rolfee said he is worried that the sale is a sign that the state government is not interested in supporting communities in their efforts to clean up the state environment.
Mr Coking said the sale “will allow the State Government to make investments that will provide the long-term benefits of the energy security and economic security that Queenslanders are entitled to”.