Albanese makes country run
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has backed coal exports as he prepares to tour regional Queensland.
Mr Albanese says it is not contradictory for Australia to mine and export coal while also having strong climate change policies.
“If Australia stopped exporting today there would not be less demand for coal - the coal would come from a different place,” he said.
“So it would not reduce emissions - which has to be the objective. I don't see a contradiction between that and having a strong climate change policy.”
Greens MP Adam Bandt slammed the Labor leader.
“The argument that if we don't sell them coal someone else will - that's the drug pusher's argument,” he told reporters.
“We don't sell people asbestos anymore because we know it does harm when used as directed - we need a plan to get off coal.”
Mr Bandt said coal is part of “a recipe for more deaths”.
“Liberal and Labor are now on a coal-fuelled unity ticket towards destruction,” he said.
“It seems that the Greens not only have to take on 'Prime Minister Smoko' but 'Anthony Coalbanese' as well.”
Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the trip to regional, coal-enthusiastic electorates would be a big test for Mr Albanese and the Labor Party.
“They say now they support the export of coal,” Senator Canavan told Sky News.
“I haven't heard Anthony Albanese say three simple words: ‘I support Adani’.”
Senator Canavan wants a new coal-fired power station built in north Queensland, but Mr Albanese does not agree with the idea.
“I think, very clearly, it is obvious to all that there won't be a new coal-fired power station built in Australia,” he told Sydney radio 2GB.
“The market is indicating that just won't happen.
“There's nothing stopping it at all except for the economics, and the economics just don't stack up compared to the other alternatives that are there.”
A review of the May federal election found Labor's ambiguous language around the Adani coal mine cost the party votes in coal-mining regions of northern and central Queensland.