Bill Shorten says a Labor government won’t support public money for Adani’s Queensland mine (File).The promised 10,000 jobs at the Adani coal mine might be missing in action, but Bill Shorten is promising different blue collar jobs for north Queensland.
The Labor leader was in Mackay on Tuesday promising to deliver road widenings, port expansions and new roads across the northern part of the state – which his party is targeting ahead of the next federal election.
Mr Shorten has been criticised for backing away from his support for the mine in a bid to win over Green voters in Melbourne at the expense of Queensland jobs.
“I’m not going to back away from saying: ‘Where are the 10,000 jobs that Adani has promised?'” Mr Shorten told reporters.
“No one I’ve met privately believes any of that. The banks of aren’t backing this proposal in.”
Adani’s planned mine dominated a community meeting Mr Shorten attended in Townsville on Monday night, leading to a scuffle with anti-Adani protesters outside the Currajong State School.
“If they want to use EFIC (the Export Finance and Investment Corporation) or any other form of government funding body to get the money – no, no, no,” Mr Shorten told the crowd.
Police were called and a 53-year-old man was issued with a notice to front court on three counts of common assault.
Mr Shorten said he did not see the incident.
The mine is a divisive issue in Townsville, which is one of two fly-in, fly-out bases for the Galilee basin coal mine.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan said Labor’s position on coal was undercutting ‘s second-biggest export.
“Thermal coal is going gangbusters right now – its price has doubled in 18 months and people can’t get enough of it in Asia,” Senator Canavan told Sky News.