It’s a billion-dollar industry, but you’ll only hear a vague passing reference to it in federal Labor’s jobs-focused policy platform, writes Matthew Killoran.
It’s a billion-dollar industry, but you’ll only hear a vague passing reference to it in federal Labor’s jobs-focused policy platform, writes Matthew Killoran.

The C-word you won’t hear in Labor policy

ANALYSIS

Job creation will be central to Labor's new priority platform to be released today, even as it leaves out any reference to coal mining.

The ALP national platform foreword, to be released today, references mining and resources being used to build "batteries, solar panels and wind turbines" and plans to "minimise the jobs threat" from climate change.

But it makes no specific reference to the billion-dollar industry.

It sets out policy priorities, rather than specific policies, ahead of its national conference at the end of this month.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will move Labor’s national platform foreword at the party’s conference later in March. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will move Labor’s national platform foreword at the party’s conference later in March. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire

The absence of coal references is despite the party's 2019 election loss review outlining disaffected blue-collar workers had been alienated by its policies.

The platform also calls for a focus on regional development, modernisation of the education system, tackling university debt, equality for women and backing a net zero emissions by 2050 policy.

There has been an increased effort from Labor frontbenchers to reach out to coal workers, with both deputy leader Richard Marles and climate change and energy spokesman Chris Bowen having visited Queensland mines since the election.

In the platform foreword, to be moved at the national conference by Mr Albanese and seconded by Mr Marles, it states Australia is a "great mining economy … but we should aspire to be even more. Our central focus will be creating jobs, but not just any jobs.

"We want secure Australian jobs, with fair pay and fair conditions.

It states this will be done through workplace law reforms, focused on workers' rights, modernising education and investing in TAFE.

"We will have a strategy for jobs and economic growth, innovation and rising productivity," it states.

"Action on climate change means more jobs, lower power prices and less pollution."

Labor deputy leader Richard Marles during his listening tour of central Queensland in 2019, which included a visit to a coalmine.
Labor deputy leader Richard Marles during his listening tour of central Queensland in 2019, which included a visit to a coalmine.

Mr Albanese has been criticised, including internally, for his small policy agenda to date, but has pointed to the election loss review which raised issue with the large number of its promises taken to the last election.

More specific policy details are expected to be unveiled at the national conference and prior to the election.

The release of the draft platform foreword comes as polling has put Labor ahead in the polls, 52-48, in the wake of recent sexual assault scandals.

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as The C-word you won't hear in Labor policy



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