‘That’ll go down real well’: Nats respond to Greens' plan
The role coal will play in Australia's future has sharpened political battle lines, and the clearest positions are at opposite ends of the country.
Federal Nationals MPs in Queensland back a new coal- fired power station for Collinsville, while member for Melbourne and new Greens leader Adam Bandt wants to see thermal coal phased out.
Nationals MP and member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the pro-coal stance in Central Queensland was a major point of difference with colleagues to the south.
"There are 35,000 jobs in Central Queensland and the Bowen Basin, and I want to protect those jobs," he said.
Mr Bandt wants to see growth in renewable mining jobs as coal is phased out as part of his party's Green New Deal policy.
"Government needs to take the reins and oversee the transition so we grow jobs and industries, including in areas where coal mines and power stations exist at the moment," he said.
"The Green New Deal is a plan to phase out thermal coal, oil and gas and increase renewables mining, processing and recycling, while looking after affected workers and communities."
Mr O'Dowd thought people in CQ would find the plan to transition workers in coal mining and power generation far-fetched.
"If they believe the Greens on that, then they believe anything," he said.
He said reports Mr Bandt was planning to visit mining regions to speak about the Greens' plan for the industry was good news for the Nationals.
"I reckon that'll go down real well for us because it will help us with the next election," he said.
Federal Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese also unveiled a plan for Australia to be carbon neutral by 2050 during a speech in Melbourne on Friday.
He said the climate wars had wasted a decade and was critical of using public finds for the Collinsville project.