Labor deputy’s admission on Queensland coal
Queensland's coal industry will play a very significant role for a long time in the Australian economy, according to deputy federal Labor leader Richard Marles.
Speaking in Brisbane yesterday, Mr Marles said Labor was developing a jobs plan to reconstruct the economy following the COVID-19 recession, and the coal industry would remain a critical element.
"Those people who work in the coal industry do a fantastic job in terms of the contribution that they make to Australia's economy and to Australian exports, and they will continue to have a very significant role for a long time," he said
Mr Marles's support for the industry comes after he was heavily criticised before the last election for saying the collapse of global thermal coal markets was a good thing.
Labor's jobs plan will be a key plank of the party's pre-election pitch in Queensland, where the party was trounced in 2019 as it struggled to provide a consistent position on the controversial Adani coalmine.
Mr Marles would not rule out keeping other damaging policies Labor took to the last poll, as he refused to confirm reports they would dump changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax.
"We took very clearly the lessons from our campaign review of the 2019 campaign," he said. "We've made it very clear that we will have a much more focused offering at the next election than we did at the last.
"But we've got time to make all those decisions and our position in relation to all that will be very clear before Australians next go to the polls."
Mr Marles also responded to revelations in The Courier-Mail that Queenslander's personal debt had skyrocketed towards $3 billion in 2020, following a surge in payday loans and "buy now, pay later" services.
He said the explosion in unsecured debt was a ticking time bomb and called for appropriate regulation of the sector.
Originally published as Labor deputy's admission on Queensland coal