ROCKHAMPTON VISIT: (Right) Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development Anthony Albanese, and (left) Labor Candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson.
ROCKHAMPTON VISIT: (Right) Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development Anthony Albanese, and (left) Labor Candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson. Leighton Smith

Albanese shrugs off LNP attacks on Labor's CQ coal approach

THE role for coal in Australia's future is something the major political parties have struggled to see eye to eye on.

On Monday, pro-coal advocate Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said, "what Central Queenslanders really want to know is whether they could trust the Labor Party to look after what is important".

She was particularly concerned regarding Labor's stance towards the CQ coal sector and "the thousands of good jobs" it provided - particularly with regards to Adani's Carmichael coal mine.

During his recent visit to Rockhampton, Labor's Federal Opposition spokesman for Regional Development Anthony Albanese rejected the accusation that Labor had a different coal answer for the people of CQ compared to people in Melbourne.

He explained Labor's opposition to the NAIF providing Adani with a loan to build their rail line.

"My view, and Labor's view, has been from day one, that we didn't believe in public subsidies for private projects, that's what we've said, and we've been consistent about that," Mr Albanese said.

It was Mr Albanese's belief that the government should put in place the appropriate policy mechanisms for controlling emissions, energy policy or for environmental protections for new mines.

"You set up the mechanisms, then go through it objectively and that's the process, if it stacks up then it goes ahead," he said.

Mr Albanese said there should be a price on carbon and said there was significant market growth towards renewable energy.

"We have a policy which is 50 per cent (renewables) by 2030, a policy of 45 per cent reduction in emissions, they're the frameworks that we have and we'll work through some more of that in the lead up to our ALP national conference," he said.

He also recognised the important role that coal exports played in the Australian economy.

"But whether there is scope to open up a new (coal) basin, is one for the markets to determine," he said.

"It's up to governments to set policy frameworks, not to sit in judgment of private sector decisions to be made.

"The idea that you should have a publicly subsidised new coal-fired power station, that no one has come forward and been interested in doing, shows that it's all about rhetoric."



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