The Greens have made a controversial call for coal mining to be phased out in the Hunter and across New South Wales over the next decade.
Senior members of the party, including Leader Richard Di Natale, paid a visit to Newcastle Town Hall on Friday to outline the proposal.
It would see the amount of coal mined in the region reduced to zero by 2028, which the NSW Minerals Council says would be an absolute disaster for thousands of locals.
"We're seeing record coal export volumes through the Port of Newcastle and a renewed sense of optimism throughout the Hunter coal mining industry – including for 11,000 workers and their families," said CEO Stephen Galilee. "And yet the Greens want to end that all over the next few years."
However MP Jeremy Buckingham says the region needs to make the move towards a renewable economy for the sake of the environment.
"We have to deal with catastrophic climate change," he said. "It is a massive threat to our economy and what we want to do is generate royalties from coal mining over ten years and put that to an orderly transition [towards renewables]."