Robertson rebukes LNP declaration of a Labor 'war on coal'
EVER since his first press conference 13 months ago, Labor's candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson has been bombarded with questions challenging his support for the coal mining industry.
Yesterday, the LNP launched new billboard campaign featuring an image of Labor Leader Bill Shorten holding a #Stop Adani banner along with the words "Labor's war on coal means less jobs in Rocky".
Minister for Northern Resources Matt Canavan and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry accused state and federal Labor of escalating the war against coal over the years, blocking development of the Galilee Basin and talking down the coal industry and the jobs it created for CQ.
It was a visibly frustrated Mr Robertson who stood in front of the cameras yesterday to again to express his support for all things coal following Ms Landry questioning whether he was being "told what to think" by his party's leader Bill Shorten.
"I'm calling out the LNP for their fake campaign, their fake war on coal mining jobs and (I'm) making sure they are held to account," Mr Robertson said.
"You didn't see any concern for the coal industry when they thought their own jobs were safe but as they get threatened by their own unpopularity, they start making up fake wars and trying to make fake division.
"Division that you see in their own ranks, they don't even know who should be Deputy Prime Minister, swapping chairs at a whim.
"The Libs are at war with the Libs, the Nats are at war with the Nats and the Libs and the Nats are at war with themselves."
Mr Robertson said his party represented a stable alternative and Mr Shorten had repeatedly stated his support for the coal industry during his 18 visits to Capricornia over past four years.
"Coal is going to be part of our future for years and years to come," he said.
"We've made a commitment that coal-fired power stations will continue as part of our energy mix, Bill's said that a number of times.
"Our power fleet in Queensland is the youngest in the country and we'll be making power out of coal for year to come."
He said Labor was waiting to see what plans the coalition would reveal regarding their plans for the government to underwrite power generating infrastructure.
"As late as yesterday we've had (Liberal Minister for Home Affairs) Peter Dutton, who (said he) won't underwrite coal-fired power stations," he said.
With the support for coal shaping up to be a key issue rolling into next month's expected election campaign, Mr Robertson welcomed the prospect of talking more on it.
"I've got a long and proud history in coal. It's fed and watered three generations of my family, my son's looking to coal into the coal industry" he said.
"So if that's where it draws, I'll be more than happy to have the argument."