MANpower shortages are the worst in 20-years, with some states still suffering shortages in the energy sector, according to a report.
The worst shortages have been reported in the south-east and west, where the coal industry is the biggest employer and where coal is a significant industry.
The National Coal Council (NCC) warned that coal would not be replaced quickly, as it needed to be replaced for the country to remain competitive.
In NSW, it said the country’s coal infrastructure was in a “critical state” due to the severe shortage.
The Coalition is trying to address the problem by introducing a carbon price and a cap on power generation and consumption.
In February, the NSW government announced a new “clean coal” scheme which it said would reduce coal emissions by 25% by 2030.
The scheme is designed to bring down emissions to zero by 2030 and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by almost two-thirds by 2050.
The new scheme will also allow coal mines to be shut down, which will reduce the need for other coal mining.
The NSW Government said that the coal mining industry was the “economic backbone of the state”.
The report said that in the first five months of 2020, NSW had an overall coal supply surplus of $5.5 billion and an overall energy surplus of almost $2.5bn, which accounted for around half of the countrys overall coal deficit.
In the South-East region, the surplus was $1.2 billion.
“It is a serious shortfall that will cause significant hardship to businesses and communities across NSW,” the report said.
NSW has been one of the worst hit by the crisis, with an overall electricity demand surplus of less than $400 million.
In Victoria, the shortfall was $2 billion and a coal supply shortfall of $4.3 billion.
In Queensland, it was $5 million and a deficit of $8.6 billion.
The state’s electricity demand shortfall has also been particularly severe.
In January, the State Government announced it would shut down more than 1,000 mines and power stations, and reduce power generation to a maximum of 40% of its total capacity by 2020.
It said it would also be cutting the power sector’s share of the power market by up to 50%.
In Queensland’s north, it had to cut the amount of power produced by more than 300 mines and shut down a further 200 power stations.
In March, the Queensland Government announced that it would close down the Hazelwood mine and the Hazelton refinery in Queensland’s south-west, which are both major coal-fired power stations which produce more than half of Queensland’s electricity.
The closure of these coal-producing plants will lead to the closure of the coal ports in the region, and will lead Queensland to have the lowest coal exports of any state.
“These measures will deliver significant savings for Queensland consumers, while reducing the cost of electricity in the state,” the Queensland Energy Agency said.
The report also found that coal exports had fallen by more over the past six months, down from $10.6 million in March to $4 million in June.
The coal export market is the main way Queensland is exporting coal to other states.
The South Australian and Western Australian governments have also introduced legislation which will see coal exports cut from $20 million a year to $10 million.
The Government said the measures were “an investment in our future”.
In November, the Federal Government said it was considering “a range of new measures” to help Queensland.
But the Coalition has said that coal is not the only source of power in the nation.
It has also pledged to reduce the use of coal by 10% over the next five years.