Politics

Anthony Albanese And Labor Love Coal, And People Are Pissed

"If you're gonna prioritise money over breathable air quality you'd have to be insane too."

It seems not even the sight of Australia going up in flames is enough to end our politicians love affair with coal, with Anthony Albanese the latest to talk it up.

The Labor leader said Australia can keep exporting coal while also having strong climate change policies — and he doesn’t see the massive contradiction in that.

He made the comments ahead of a visit to regional Queensland, where Labor lost a lot of support in the lead up to the election.

“If Australia stopped exporting today there would not be less demand for coal — the coal would come from a different place,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“So it would not reduce emissions — which has to be the objective. I don’t see a contradiction between that and having a strong climate change policy.”

“We’ve got to consider what the actual outcome is from any proposal, and the proposal that we immediately stop exporting coal would damage our economy and would not have any environmental benefit.”

Albanese is based in inner-west Sydney, where bushfire smoke has led to the highest levels of air pollution ever seen in New South Wales.

Reducing our reliance on coal is a touchy subject in Queensland, where so many jobs rely on the industry.

According to 2018 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics mining has the highest median weekly earnings, at around $1950 a week.

Queensland is due to vote in a state election late next year.