Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Candidate for Flynn Zac Beers at Emerald's Fairbairn Dam.
Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Candidate for Flynn Zac Beers at Emerald's Fairbairn Dam. Kristen Booth

Beers makes Adani mine stance clear amid union threats

ZAC Beers has made his support for Adani's controversial coal mine clear after a powerful Queensland union threatened to campaign against Labor candidates who did not back the coal mining industry.

The CFMEU has demanded Bill Shorten's Queensland candidates pledge support for the coal mining industry, including the Adani Carmichael mine, or face a union campaign against them during the next federal election.

The left-wing union said it would endorse individual candidates during the looming election, instead of having a blanket endorsement for all of Labor's Queensland candidates.

Mr Beers, Labor's candidate for Flynn, said he had always expressed his support for the Adani mine and the development of the Galilee Basin.

"The reality is in Queensland we need good secure jobs, and the coal mining industry has been the backbone of that for years," he said.

It was revealed last month that 14,500 people had lodged interest in working at Adani's coal mine, including 461 from Gladstone.

Mr Beers, an Australian Workers' Union organiser, said there should not be a debate about coal and renewables because the energy market should include both.

"Coal mining has a big future in Queensland, we have the best steel making coal in the world ... it's not going anywhere," he said.

The union's threat comes amid the Indian miner's latest blow - the release of a draft report into the company's plan to protect the endangered black-throated finch.

The report, ordered by the State Government, recommends the project does not proceed until Adani's plan to protect the bird is overhauled.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Steve Smyth said allowing activists to stop Adani would encourage similar tactics against other mines.

"We will request a pledge from (the candidates) ... If you want support from us, you pledge your support for the coal industry," Mr Smyth said.

"If we have to we will campaign against those MPs no matter which party they're in."

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, a coal advocate, said the union's decision to back candidates should force Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to make it clear if he backs the mine.

"This is an opportunity for Labor to finally give a straight answer - yes or no. Do you support mining jobs?"

Queensland will be a key battleground in the election as the Coalition holds 21 of the state's 30 seats. Eight of those, including Flynn, would fall on a swing of four per cent.



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