The leader of a party that claims to stand up for middle and working Australians has turned down an offer to give bipartisan support for a $21 billion mining development in Central Queensland.
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese (pictured centre left) rejected a proposal from Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan for both sides of politics to endorse Adani Australia’s Carmichael Coal Project, 160km northwest of Clermont.
Albanese described Canavan’s criticisms against Labor’s failure to support the project, which is promised to create up to 10,000 jobs, as “childish”.
‘Childish’ request refused
“Matt Canavan’s a boy. What I do not do is, when a boy makes a request, agree to him in a snap,” he told reporters according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP). “This is childish from Matt Canavan.”
The minister believes the opposition leader’s recent support for coal exports only came after an estimated three quarters of Queenslanders rejected Labor at the May federal election.
“Anthony Albanese has been exposed to be the Hulk Hogan of Australian politics here because he only pretends to fight,” Canavan said according to AAP. “He’s only pretending to fight for the coal industry, he does not really fight for the coal industry.”
‘Transition’ to clean energy
The remarks came as Albanese toured western Queensland where he expressed his interest in growing job opportunities in the advanced manufacturing, hydrogen, lithium, copper and solar industries.
“There is a transition in the world going on [away from coal] … we need to be cognisant of what that represents in terms of opportunities,” he said. “The truth is we can be a clean energy superpower for the world while at the same time we are providing coal exports that produce income for Australia.”
The minister does not believe it is necessary to transition away from coal mining and suggested renewable energy technology could still gain a foothold even if the coal industry continues to operate.
“I have a problem with the word transition, because that locks you in to say ‘oh it’s definitely going to go’,” Canvan said. “How do you know what technologies will exist [in the future]?”
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Albanese is scheduled to visit the Bowen Basin coal mining region, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie.