Australia has a lot of fossil fuel, which could be either used domestically or exported:
Coal is still Australia’s main minerals export, and Queensland produces about a third of the world’s coking variety, the kind used to make steel. The hot new product in Queensland, though, is coal-seam gas. When Queensland in 1998 mandated that 13% of its electricity should come from natural gas, companies went out to look for it and found enough in the state’s coal seams, they believe, to power a city of 1m people for 1,000 years. The country’s main industrial research organisation thinks Queensland and northern New South Wales together have about 200 years’ worth of gas at current rates of production.
Hopefully, Australians will recognize how risky it is to dig up and burn all that fuel, given the danger of destabilizing the climate. It should be left underground, while renewable and zero-carbon forms of energy are developed.