The Coal Conundrum: A Hypothetical

The Wheeler Centre

Event Date: 
25 May 2022
Author / Presenters: 
Dan Gocher, Ken Henry, Dirk Matten, Graeme Samuel, Jodie Sizer, Kelly Vea Vea, Nikki Williams, and Ali Moore

For this hypothetical, hosted by journalist and broadcaster Ali Moore, we’re bringing together experts across a range of different fields to work through the ethical quandaries at the centre of Australia’s coal conundrum.

Seventy per cent of the world’s steel is made using coking coal, and right now there’s no match when it comes to abundance and affordability. In this hypothetical challenge, the government is backing a new steel-making coal mine – promising big demand, high prices and a long-term economic future for the local town. But: it’s going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Would you invest? What are the competing issues at play and whose rights take precedence?

Our expert panel will roleplay their way through this ethical minefield. Stepping into key roles such as the mining CEO, the investor, the banker, the local Mayor and the Indigenous community leader, they’ll explore the tensions between shareholder and stakeholder primacy when it comes to climate change. Witness first hand just how complex the road to net zero can be.

Dr KEN HENRY as the Bank CEO
GRAEME SAMUEL as the Bank Investor
JODIE SIZER as the Local Indigenous Corporation representative
KELLY VEA VEA as the Local Mayor
DAN GOCHER as the Climate Campaigner
DIRK MATTEN as the Federal Politician

Presented in partnership with Trinity College – The University of Melbourne and the Gourlay Family