Canavan: Trump presidency is a positive for CQ coal
IN a nation where coal remains one of the biggest commodities exported, Rockhampton-based LNP Senator Matt Canavan believes the US election outcome and rising coal prices is good news for Central Queensland.
Speaking to a Cairns radio station on Monday, Mr Canavan said rising commodity prices was "good news on top of good news” following the election of Donald Trump to the White House.
"Iron ore prices have already been up, but particularly coal this year,” he said.
"Thermal coal has more than doubled and coking coal prices have more than tripled.
"It's an amazing resurgence in a commodity that is denigrated by many, but bought by a lot and needed by a lot, particularly in our region and the Asia-Pacific region.
"We've got three coal mines that have reopened in the past month in Central Queensland, that's great news for our region.”
Despite his own positive outlook, Mr Canavan acknowledged there was a lingering concern among the industry when it came to the sustainability of the price increases.
"Obviously it's been a very difficult couple of years, so some are cautious about anticipating good news,” he said.
Speaking about Donald Trump's election, Mr Canavan said much of the commentary surrounding potential negative impacts on financial markets was "overblown” during the campaign.
"It's clear that Donald Trump was a big supporter of the coal industry and was going to rescind some of the restrictions that Barack Obama has put in place on those,” Mr Canavan said.
"And we are still an economy where coal is our second biggest export.
"It's a very important industry for us as a nation, extremely important obviously in North Queensland and Northern Australia more generally. So this is good news for our part of the world.”
Mr Canavan also reflected on Adani's Carmichael coal mine, which has faced several legal challenges opposing its approval.
He said all the government could do was welcome investments like the mega mine projects and the thousands of jobs it was set to create.
But Mr Canavan admitted he would be feeling "a fair amount of anxiety” about the project until it got off the ground.
"There's a lot of things that have to go right to get a $16 billion project off the ground,” he said.
"So we can never be sure until it starts happening.
"But there have been some positive moves over this past year.
"Certainly the coal price helps, but Adani have continued to invest, continued to employ people here, not withstanding some of those hurdles and barriers they've faced over the past couple of years.”