ALP loses the plot on coal

THE Australian Labor Party should get serious about preserving coal mining jobs if it is truly serious about helping about preserving the livelihoods of its union members and keeping communities that have traditionally formed some of it heartlands.
ALP loses the plot on coal  ALP loses the plot on coal  ALP loses the plot on coal  ALP loses the plot on coal  ALP loses the plot on coal

ALP leader Anthony Albanese needs to be more convincing in his defence of retaining coal mining jobs in Australia if he is to have any credibility in regional Australian areas such as the Hunter Valley of New South Wales and central Queensland.

Instead, all we get from him is platitudes about reducing emissions and getting rid of thermal coal mining and then - while speaking through the side of his month - reassurances that there should still be a coal industry in Australia.

Albanese might be making friends in South Sydney by wearing his Rabbitohs NRL club tie at Canberra Press Club events, however, he is not endearing himself to coal mine workers by telling them they will have to retrain and start thinking about alternative careers.  

Coal miners are some of the best paid employees in Australia and the associated trades and services associated with coal mines also enjoy more than ample returns.

For this reason, Hogsback was aghast to hear Labor's Regional Jobs Taskforce being announced by Albanese.

On the one hand he is passionately committed to a net zero emissions policy by 2050 and on the other hand he is calling for a "just transition" for the more than 50,000 people employed by the Australian coal sector and the 8000 workers in coal-fired power plants.

Meryl Swanson, the member for the NSW electorate of Paterson that takes in Maitland, Nelson Bay and Williamtown, has been tasked by NSW ALP headquarters in Sussex Street Sydney to go out into the coal mining regions and let coal miners know that there will still be plenty of "good" jobs outside of coal mining.

"We just want to support the workers who are in the coal industry now, but also we want to train the people who are coming through for the jobs that will be there in the future and there will still be demand for people in mining jobs in the future," Swanson told The Australian.

Will these good jobs that she refers to be able to offer the same pay and conditions that mining unions have fought so hard for over the past 100 years?

Albanese and the ALP leadership hierarchy should think twice about extolling the virtues of a decarbonised economy instead of reassuring coal mining workers that it will back them in the future.   

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