Resources Minister: Labor should keep an “open mind” on coal

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has delivered a simple message for Labor leaders Bill Shorten and Annastacia Palaszczuk – listen to Queenslanders and keep an open mind on coal-fired power stations.

The statement followed the Gladstone Regional Council’s decision yesterday to write to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to express support for a coal-fired power station be built in Gladstone.

“The message from regional Queenslanders is loud and clear,” Mr Canavan said in a statement.

“They want reliable power and the jobs it provides and they want coal-fired power stations in the mix.

“Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should drop their blinkered philosophical arguments against coal-fired power stations and support the wishes of regional Queenslanders.”

Gladstone Deputy Mayor Chris Trevor said council was sending a message that Gladstone wanted a coal-fired power station.

“The coal-fired power station could be announced for Gladstone tomorrow. We’re ready to go,” he told local media.

Mr Canavan said the Labor Party is “selling short” industries in North Queensland by refusing to back the baseload power that is essential to keep jobs in the region.

“To keep manufacturing and refining jobs in North Queensland we need affordable and reliable baseload power,” he said.

“We must at least be open to considering coal-fired power as part of that mix.”