The Greens will announce in Newcastle on Monday a $1.8 billion support program to help NSW mining communities transition away from reliance on coal.
Upper house MP David Shoebridge told the Newcastle Herald on Sunday that the proposed Coal Community and Environmental Trust would be funded by a guaranteed 20 per cent of all state coal royalties until 2030.
The party wants to phase out thermal coal production over the next 10 years and establish a publicly owned, 100 per cent renewable energy supplier and retailer to be called PowerNSW.
Asked whether he believed Hunter communities were on board with the Greens' agenda, Mr Shoebridge said: "I know that across the board in those communities there is a deep sense of anxiety about their economic future, and about the future of their towns and their region, and it's about time politics started giving some real answers.
"That means guaranteed funding and a package that will deliver a bright post-coal future; not a decline.
"We've seen in the US entire cities and regions just collapse with structural change. We won't let that happen in the Hunter."
The trust would include funds to retrain workers through free TAFE courses, support emerging industries, generate jobs in renewables and restore the environment.
Last week, the Hunter's largest coal producer, Glencore, announced a cap on thermal coal production, a move dismissed by some in the industry as a public relations exercise, and China apparently banned or restricted Australian coal imports at some of its ports.
The NSW Land and Environment Court rejected the proposed Rocky Hill mine near Gloucester this month partly on the grounds it would add to climate change.
Mr Shoebridge said these developments showed the state government needed to start preparing Hunter communities for life after mining.
The Greens, who narrowly avoided a split after factional infighting last year, are eyeing off holding the balance of power in the lower house after the March 23 poll.
"It's going to be a very interesting parliament. We're campaigning to position the Greens as critical players in the next government," Mr Shoebridge said.
"The upper house is going to be a zoo, but we're hoping to put a bit of civility into it. We'll be pushing for this package to be incorporated in the budget, and the upper house cannot block a budget."
The state government's Resources for Regions program will pay $50 million in 2018-19 to mining communities for economic infrastructure, including roads and rail, and social infrastructure such as recreational centres and childcare services.
Mining companies also offer direct funding to communities. Yancoal says it paid out $1.3 million in 2017, and Glencore has a multimillion-dollar community program which provides money to John Hunter Hospital, the Star Struck school musical and a range of other projects.
The federal opposition's assistant minister for climate change and energy, Shortland MP Pat Conroy, told the Herald last week that a Labor government would establish an independent Just Transition Authority to oversee economic diversification in affected communities.
"Our region, our country, must have a plan to help workers and communities respond," he said.
Mr Shoebridge labelled the Greens' proposed NSW program, which would average $180 million a year, the "largest structural adjustment package that's ever been proposed in Australia".
"When you look across NSW, there are clear regions where this money is going to be focused, and that starts with the Hunter Valley and the Newcastle region.
"It's only really in the Hunter where you see communities with 40 to 50 per cent of the economic activity dependent on coal.
"I've been to the Hunter dozens and dozens of times and spoken to miners repeatedly. To a person they will tell you the long-term, secure jobs are already disappearing. Increasingly it's casualisation and contract and lack of economic security."
A 2014 report prepared for the NSW Minerals Taskforce found the "Hunter Valley community were far more negative about the impact of mining than participants in other [mining] communities included in this research, largely linked to the daily impacts such as air quality".
The Upper Hunter was "strongly aware" of mining's importance to the local economy but concerned about its impact on agriculture and the "limited proportion of mining-related jobs that are going to local people".
Michelle Landry, the federal government's Assistant Minister for Children and Families and the representative of Queensland regional mining electorate Capricornia, said last week that "latte-sipping Greens" were responsible for Glencore's decision to cap production.