The Central Queensland economy could be wrecked and thousands of jobs sacrificed if Labor was elected to federal government, Senator Matt Canavan has said.
"No-one in the coal industry in CQ or anywhere else in Australia should trust Labor after their environment spokesman, Mark Butler, said yesterday that coal exports should be phased out," Senator Canavan said.
“His comments just show that the Labor party has not divorced the Greens. The Greens just say more often what the Labor party is really thinking.
"Labor leader Bill Shorten was in Central Queensland yesterday and he defended Mark Butler's statement. What a joke. Labor can't be trusted on jobs. That's especially the case with mining jobs.
"Labor would wreck the Australian economy, starting with Central Queensland, because coal exports are so important for the economy of the region and the nation.
“Bill Shorten has already revealed that he will take a carbon tax to next election. Now we know that he wants to take a plan to phase out coal as well.
"Bill Shorten refused to give his 100% support to the coal industry and coal industry jobs. Contrast that with the Coalition and PM Tony Abbott.
"We know that coal has a bright future to deliver cheap energy to millions of Australians and millions around the world.
“It's time for Labor to stop being silent on Abbot Point, silent on the Galilee Basin and silent of the future of our coal industry. Do they support coal mining jobs or do they just want to chase Green preferences?"
Senator Canavan said billions of dollars of income and tens of thousands of jobs would be lost under Mark Butler's plan to phase out coal exports.
"Queensland coal mines exported coal worth $24 billion in 2012-13, making it Queensland's largest single export earner, and the industry paid about $1.7 billion in royalties to the State Government.
"The Australian Bureau of Statistics calculated there were 46,000 fulltime jobs in coal mining in 2013 and it's estimated that there are over 170,000 jobs in the wider coal economy in Australia. At least 80,000 of those jobs would be in Queensland, and a high proportion of those in Central Queensland.”