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|Coal exports are forecast to grow strongly, so that coal is likely to remain very important to Australia for the foreseeable future. However there is no sign that prices or profitability will rise of their own accord. Therefore the intense squeeze on costs will continue for the foreseeable future. This will mean lower manning, more outsourcing and probably an increasing rate of company attrition. As well, the political pressure from the greenhouse debate is only going to intensify and the pressure on the Federal Government after Kyoto is likely to be irresistible.|