As a politician you get a little tired and sometimes frustrated during election campaigns.
During the 2019 election I was going through Facebook, to distract myself from a tough day, and noticed a post from Joel Fitzgibbon, the Labor Member for Hunter. He said, “People still ask me why we can’t build a new coal-fired power station. The answer is we can, but no one wants to.”
In my semi-conscious state I did something I don’t normally do - comment on social media. I wrote under his post “what a sell out Joel is! Back the coal industry and back your region instead of constantly talking down people’s jobs.”
My comment was a little unfair. Joel has tried to keep sanity in the Labor party but I was often frustrated at his inability to pull Labor away from the crazy, loony left of the Labor party that has been taken over by radical Greens.
Joel claims that Labor has now returned to the “centre”. But on the same day he announced his retirement, the Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, wrote an article in The Australian supporting the anti-coal position of the Biden administration. Mr Albanese wrote that if he were Prime Minister he would make climate change a central part of the US Alliance. That would completely sell out our community that relies on the coal industry given the demands by some in the Biden administration to end coal.
The Biden administration joined other rich nations just four months ago to end finance for the development of coal fired power stations. And, when asked about what coal miners could do for their livelihoods when their industry is shut down, the Biden administration’s climate spokesperson, John Kerry, said that miners could “go to work to make the solar panels”.
When it genuflects to people like this, does the Labor party sound like someone that will fight for the coal industry?
Joel Fitzgibbon has been a working class warrior for the Labor party. He will be a great loss to his party. There remains lots of good people in the Labor party that do want to defend working class industries and values but they lack a spear thrower now. Working class people will continue to be tolerated and patronised within the Labor party but their ability to impact decisions will be diminished.
With Joel gone, there is no strong defender of coal mining jobs left in the Labor party. Joel’s retirement is a break point. The Labor party has now totally gone over to the intellectual, middle class left. It is no longer a party that represents the working class.
There will be Labor candidates in Central Queensland that say they support the coal industry, but they are now Labor’s “token” hi-vis candidates. If you vote for a Labor candidate in CQ, you will end up with Anthony Albanese who does not support our jobs.
That is a great shame for our country because it is the workers of Australia who underpin our enormous wealth and prosperity. Coal prices are at record highs and there has never been more demand for our high quality coal.
That demand helps support thousands of high paying jobs in our region, and those jobs allow people to buy their own homes and support their families. I will continue the fight for the great communities that Australian workers build. It is a fight that will get harder now though, with fewer people like Joel left in Labor.
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