Founder of software giant Atlassian says we need to be “honest” about the fact coal miners “don’t have a future” in that industry.
Founder of software giant Atlassian says we need to be “honest” about the fact coal miners “don’t have a future” in that industry.

'Coal mining jobs will be gone in 20 years’: Business boss

Coal mining jobs will be gone in 20 years, Mike Cannon-Brookes has said.

In a passionate energy debate at the Bush Summit, the founder of software giant Atlassian said we need to be "honest" about the fact coal miners "don't have a future" in that industry.

"You're not all going to lose your jobs tomorrow, but we have to start from a position of honesty," Mr Cannon-Brookes said.

"Coal jobs are going away in the next 20 years," he said.

Mr Cannon-Brookes said the country needs to have a conversation about how to transition those workers into other jobs.

"Peabody just laid off half its jobs in the Hunter, and will continue to do so," he said.

"There are so many fantastic jobs in renewable energy."

The self-confessed "energy nerd" declared Energy Minister Angus Taylor and his Labor counterpart do not fully understand the economic opportunities of renewable energy.

"We're not here to talk about emissions or climate, let's put that aside. We're here to talk about rural jobs. We're here to talk about getting the economy back on track," Mr Cannon-Brookes said.



However Labor's Joel Fitzgibbon dismissed Mr Cannon-Brookes as a "dreamer".

Mr Fitzgibbon said Peabody has laid off workers because of a slower market weakened by COVID, not because coal demand was falling off.

"I have a good track record of getting shit done alongside that dreaming and I'll continue to do that," Mr Cannon-Brookes responded.

Meanwhile, Mr Fitzgibbon accused the energy minister of not having any "goal" or "ambition" to meet lower emissions targets.

Delivered in partnership with Westpac, the awards shine a light on rural champions like Ms Cay.

The inaugural Bush Telegraph Award winner created an online fashion business that employs over 140 locals in a town of just 6,500 people.

Ms Cay took her country town retail store online in 2008. Today, the business has grown 30 times bigger.

"The bush has given me so much more than I could ever give back," Ms Cay said when accepting the award.

She asked for any money that comes as part of the award to be donated to the Country Education Foundation, a not for profit organisation supporting rural kids get to university.

PM 'DISAPPOINTED' WITH ACTIONS AGAINST AUSSIE EXPORTS

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed his disappointment at the Bush Summit after China banned beef from another Australian abattoir.

The John Dee abattoir is now the fifth that has been prevented from selling to China, amid deteriorating relations between Beijing and Canberra.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Bush Summit he was "disappointed" China had banned beef from another Australian abbatoir. Picture Rohan Kelly
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Bush Summit he was "disappointed" China had banned beef from another Australian abbatoir. Picture Rohan Kelly

Mr Morrison said his government is "disappointed" with the actions against Australian exports, with barley and wine also targeted.

"We'll work with industry on those issues and address the facts of each case," he told the Bush Summit.

"Our high-quality beef, lamb, seafood and wine exports to China have grown in recent years for a very simple reason: they're good. Chinese consumers like them," he said.

REGIONAL AUSTRALIA 'READY AND WAITING'

Forty-thousand well paid jobs are available right now in regional Australia, The Daily Telegraph's Bush Summit has heard.

Regional Australia Institute CEO Liz Ritchie has told the Summit that the bush is "ready and waiting" for people to make a tree change to embrace country life.

"Right now there are 40,000 job vacancies in regional Australia," she said.

Ms Ritchie's think tank is devoted to issues concerning regional Australia.

"We want people to know that they have a choice, they have alternatives, and that regional Australia is ready and waiting," she said.

Ms Ritchie's think tank is devoted to issues concerning regional Australia.

"We want people to know that they have a choice, they have alternatives, and that regional Australia is ready and waiting," she said.

DECENTRALISATION A 'FIGHT WORTH HAVING'

The boom in remote work is the "silver lining" of the devastating coronavirus pandemic proving the regions are a viable place to do business, the Bush Summit has heard.

Jane Cay is chief executive of online fashion retailer Birdnest that employs 140 locals in Cooma and sells to the world and said COVID-19 had given Australians the "freedom" to "redefine how we live and work".

"To have a seat at the table yes we need those basic things like high speed internet, and mobile coverage ... but it's also a cultural shift to promote remote working," she said.

Ms Cay said it would be a "fight" to bring everyone on board with decentralisation but one "worth having".

"The opportunity is really to come and start a business in the bush, to find the talent that's out here ... in the regions."

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said there were "so many opportunities" in regional NSW.

"You can be in a zoom meeting in Cooma that might as well be in a board meeting in Sydney," he said.

'MASSIVE OPPORTUNITIES' FOR BUSH AMID COVID CRISIS

Daily Telegraph Editor Ben English has told the Bush Summit that the coronavirus pandemic presents massive opportunities for the regions.

Addressing the challenges since last year's Summit, Mr English reflected on crushing drought and horror bushfires that have impacted the bush.

Despite the global COVID pandemic crippling the cities, it has presented opportunities for the regions, with a "spike in tree changers" capitalising on working from home.

The second Bush Summit presents an "incredible opportunity" to capitalise on success from last year, he said, including infrastructure spending and Right To Farm legislation.

However issues like mobile black spots and minimum standards for country towns still need to be addressed, Mr English said.

POLITICIANS SHOULD PLAN FOR DECADES AHEAD: BARILARO

Politicians should plan for the "decades ahead" not just "the next election cycle," Deputy Premier John Barilaro has told The Daily Telegraph's Bush Summit.

The Monaro state MP welcomed attendees to Cooma, the site of the historic Snowy Hydro scheme.

The project is a "piece of engineering infrastructure that we should be proud of," that was created "at a time when this country believed we could build things," he said.

With construction on Snowy 2.0 now underway, Mr Barilaro said politicians should be preparing for "Snowy 3.0, and Snowy 4.0".

"Why are we only planning for the next election cycle and not for the decades ahead?"

He said the country should invest in infrastructure that "may take decades to complete but will benefit the generations ahead".

Opening the Bush Summit, Mr Barilaro said the regions lead the way out of the COVID pandemic.

"Agriculture in regional and rural NSW will be fundamental to the recovery of the economy and NSW will lead the way," Mr Barilaro said.

YOUNG CITY SLICKERS QUITTING THE BIG SMOKE

Almost one third of young Sydneysiders would consider moving to the bush within the next three years according to new research conducted ahead of today's The Daily Telegraph Bush Summit.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian are heading a stellar list of political, business and entrepreneurial leaders travelling to Cooma in the Snowy Mountains to talk about jobs, energy and prosperity in ­regional NSW.

Mr Morrison will announce the establishment of a Regional Recovery Officer network across the country to be the government's "boots on the ground" in communities impacted by drought.

The officers will be "listening, reporting (and) working across government and across the community to develop solutions," Mr Morrison will say.

Research by Newgate Communications found that 30 per cent of Sydneysiders aged 18-34 are willing to make the move to regional NSW within three years, a figure that rises to 41 per cent among city parents with children under 12 - with a lower cost of living the main drawcard.

The tree changer numbers climb even further for those considering a move within 10 years - up to 39 per cent of young people.

"COVID has demonstrated that, provided you have the IT, you can live and work anywhere and why wouldn't you want to consider living in a country area with lower cost of living and a great lifestyle," Brian Tyson from Newgate Communications said.

"It supports the theme of this summit which is very positive. The bush really can thrive from the recovery from COVID."

Tree changers Kate and Jeremy McDiven have never ­regretted moving from Woollahra to the Snowy Mountains to bring up their two sons.

"It is just a better fit for our family than the life I see my friends living in Sydney," Ms McDiven said.

Five years on and they have bought a cafe in Cooma while Ms McDiven works as a buyer for Cooma's online fashion dynamo Birdsnest.

"It is amazing to have a big job in fashion while living here," she said.

At the summit the PM will also address the negative impact of domestic border restrictions on regional communities.

"Where permits are required, it is reasonable for Australians to expect that their applications will be dealt with quickly and that there is an appeal process," he will say.

"The next critical step is to establish principles to ease restrictions and open borders so that we can all go about our lives … until we have a vaccine."

Mr Morrison will recommit the government to its Ag2030 plan to support agriculture, fisheries and forestry which has been delayed by the pandemic.

"We have not stopped working towards achieving the goal," he will say.

LOOKING TO LEAVE RAT RACE BEHIND

Nora Anderson-Dieppe and her husband Ed are hoping to move from their home on Sydney's north shore to Jindabyne in the state's alpine region.

The couple, who own their own residential interior and architecture business, are currently looking for an affordable block of land to buy and build on.

"We are looking to move for a number of reasons, more affordable to buy land and being an architect and interior designer we want to build from scratch," Mrs Anderson-Dieppe said.

"Buying the size and outlook we want is totally out of our price range."

The couple, who have a two-year-old son, Flint, say they are not surprised so many people want to move to the bush.

"I think there has been more and more pressure for us to be working on a healthy work life balance in the past five years or so," she said.

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