GRIM PICTURE: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack with Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd spoke to    The Observer  about how  election issues  may affect the  region .
GRIM PICTURE: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack with Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd spoke to The Observer about how election issues may affect the region . Matt Taylor GLA100419PORT

Deputy PM explains his coal-hard logic call for region

DEPUTY Prime Minister Michael McCormack has doubled down on claims Labor's climate policy would "shut down” Gladstone's big industries.

Speaking to The Observer during his visit to Gladstone last week, Mr McCormack painted a grim picture of what Queensland without coal-fired power would look like.

The self-proclaimed "big believer” in coal said there "would be no night sports” and Gladstone's major industries would struggle to survive.

In a sign of the rhetoric to expect during the federal election campaign, Mr McCormack backed comments made by Energy Minister Angus Taylor and said Labor's climate policy would be the end of Gladstone.

"You only have to look at the smelters and the industries that Gladstone supports and those jobs that those industries support,” he said.

"They can't afford to keep paying higher and higher and higher and higher energy costs,” Mr McCormack said.

In February Boyne Smelter Ltd general manager Joe Rea told The Observer the company would continue to work with all political parties to ensure BSL had a long future.

Without coal there would be no night sports, according to Mr McCormack, a self-proclaimed "big believer” in coal.

Mr McCormack said that coal was a necessary power source for the time being, but noted there should be a mix in power generation that included renewables.

"So there has to be a mix and I know that renewables are important and I know they're going to provide into the future more and more,” he said.

The Federal Government committed $10 million in the Budget for a business case into Central and North Queensland's energy needs.

The business case is expected to identify viable locations for new power generation projects to help meet the needs of Gladstone's energy-intensive industries.



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