Labor comes clean on its policy on coal power

 

Labor is now explicitly supporting coal in its official policy platform, after earlier criticism it was conspicuously absent.

The Australian Workers' Union and CFMEU pushed for the inclusion at the second day of the party's national conference.

"Labor recognises and values the economic and employment contribution of Australia's mining and extractive resources industries including iron ore, coal, uranium, nickel, rare earths, gold, copper, zinc, silver, gas, bauxite and others," the amendment said.

Queenland Labor's deputy assistant secretary and former Flynn candidate Zac Beers said coal workers had abandoned the party in droves in 2019.

"The reality is - and I speak as someone who was a candidate in central Queensland - those workers didn't trust Labor with our future," he said at the conference.

"They saw the winds of change around the world, and didn't have any confidence a Labor government would protect their interests.

"They didn't believe they would have jobs under a Labor government."

He said there needed to be a Labor government in place to protect coal communities when global change impacted the industry.

There was also a move to establishing an authority to mitigate the adverse impacts of coal power station closures on regional.

It would have the power to implement job transfer schemes for power station workers and coal associated mines, while allowing for voluntary redundancies and redeployment opportunities.

Prior to yesterday's conference, the draft ALP national platform foreword only referenced mining and resources being used to build "batteries, solar panels and wind turbines" and plans to "minimise the jobs threat" from climate change.

Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt said it was an attempt to con coal workers.

"Labor will say one thing to its inner-city green heartland and another to the hardworking people of the mining industry out in the regions," he said.

 

Originally published as Labor comes clean on its policy on coal power

 


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