ROAD BLOCK: The CMFEU says it will withdraw blanket support for Federal Labor candidates who don't pledge to support coal mining.
ROAD BLOCK: The CMFEU says it will withdraw blanket support for Federal Labor candidates who don't pledge to support coal mining. Contributed

Tables turn creating Labor's biggest election headache

ALP candidates in Capricornia and Flynn appear to be safe from a CMFEU threat to withdraw blanket support for Labor candidates in the upcoming federal election if they don't pledge support for the coal mining industry, including Adani's Carmichael mine.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Steve Smyth said the union was likely to endorse coalminer Russell Robertson in Capricornia and AWU organiser Zac Beers in Flynn as coalition MPs had not backed the union on other industrial issues.

The union says candidates who don't pledge support for the industry will face the wrath of union campaigners who will endorse individual candidates.

The CFMEU's initiative puts the left-wing union on a collision course with the faction's leader in the Queensland parliament, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, whose inner-city seat is targeted by The Greens.

Mr Smyth said the coal pledge would leave no "grey area" for MPs to support the Palaszczuk government's approach to Adani and savaged the decision for an external review of Adani's black-throated finch management plan.

He said the government should rely on its own officials, who developed the management plan with the company over 18 months and seven drafts.

The Indian conglomerate remains the only company committed to building a railway that would unlock Queensland's remote Galilee Basin - a vast untapped coal province that geologists say could yield more than 27 billion tonnes of coal over decades.

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan predicted the Galilee Basin's development would be set back by at least a decade if the Adani coal mine was scuttled.

"There's no one else willing at this stage to put up the billions of dollars of funding that would be required to connect the basin to port," Senator Canavan said.

"If Adani can't proceed, it's hard to see anyone on the horizon that would do that."

A Queensland Government's spokesperson said Labor had facilitated more than $9bn of investment in resource projects, supporting 5500 jobs, since 2015.

"The decision to request a review of Adani's management plan for the black-throated finch was made independently by the Department of Environment and Science," he said.

Adani has been invited to provide submissions to Professor Wintle's review, but the company believes his draft report is so flawed that it is "not, in our view, amenable to rectification".

Resources Minister, Matt Canavan said Adani's mine was the best hope for the black-throated finch, since the company had promised "to build a 33,000ha finch hotel" to preserve the bird.

"We know exactly what Jackie Trad is trying to do with this ridiculous 11th hour review...then trying to spin us a yarn saying it's all proper process. Give me a break.

"You'd think a Labor government would back workers and back jobs."



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