Coal's allies emerge from cover

IT SEEMS coal’s only friends these days are political renegades and independent minded individuals who are willing to speak their mind regardless of the climate change lobby backlash.
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On both sides of the political fence it seems there are a few brave souls prepared to put the case for coal and not be silenced by political correctness or climate change group think. 

The outspoken former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce seems to be staking a revival in his career on ensuring there is a coal-fired plant built at Collinsville in central Queensland near the mine of the same name.

Joyce has a colourful past and Hogsback will spare readers the details of his personal life, however, he is on a mission after dusting off a failed attempt to take back the top job at the Nationals party.     

Following him was the hard working and respected former minister for mines Matt Canavan.

While in his portfolio, Canavan was a tireless supporter of coal. However, he was prepared to chuck in his cabinet position as minister to support Joyce's leadership ambitions.

Canavan is now a fervent supporter of coal from the back bench and obviously felt he could be a more effective advocate for it from outside his role as federal minister for mines. 

Over at the ALP, a group of 20 federal members and senators - including nine front benchers - have been meeting secretly and pushing for greater support for coal workers.

They are doing this because they fear the ALP will develop into a quasi-Greens party that will continue to bash coal.

The political consequences of this was plain for all to see at the past federal election when Labor leader Bill Shorten was thrashed in Queensland because of his ambivalent attitude to Adani's Carmichael coal project.

Ten News reported on Tuesday the "Otis Group" of Labor politicians - named after the Canberra restaurant which serves as a meeting venue - had met without the knowledge of current party leader Anthony Albanese.

Albanese is the member for Grayndler in inner western Sydney - a region with a strong Greens following.

While Albanese may be desperate to cling on to his inner city Sydney seat, the rest of the ALP is not prepared to ditch coal to support him.

Hogsback reckons there will be a lot more politicians not toeing the party line when it comes to the issue of coal, especially when the economic and political costs are so high.