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Labor, Coal and Climate Action

Industrial Revolution and Impacts

Australia has relied on one main commodity for a very long time. Therefore, we are the leading exporter of coal in the world. As a result, many regions have a high concentration of heavy industry.

Consequently, the push away from coal globally coupled with automation means we are facing the biggest change since the Industrial revolution. Above all, this means we need to stop the division as we are facing mass jobs displacement, if not done right.

Mass joblessness, as we know has severe psychological effects on humans. For example, lack of self-worth and suicide. In addition, mass joblessness equals mass poverty. Here is one video to watch on the impacts of willingly causing job displacement. This video is about automation on Truck Drivers in the USA.

The main approach to combat climate change is to shut down coal. Coal is used globally for energy and production of other goods like steel. Currently, we are the leading supplier of coal to many countries, including China. This is $47 BILLION of export.

States benefit from the export of this major commodity. Specifically, it helps build and fund schools, roads and hospitals. This is in the form of coal royalties and other taxes.

The call for mass jobs displacement along with loss of major revenue will have severe economic impacts. In particular, it is important to think of severe economic impacts scenarios handled by conservatives are in charge. As we know, the Liberals always target the poor, which will be many of us.

Option One – Cease Coal Production

We have two alternatives. The first is the main push to cease coal production in Australia. The argument is this will raise the price of coal and put pressure on other countries to go renewable.

We are the leading exporter and there are many other export countries. Therefore, we do not know how long we cripple our economy, navigate joblessness, poverty, while other countries decide to cease importing coal. If you could predict markets & commodities you’d be very rich. (Albanese also covers this in the SMH article linked in the opening paragraph).

The Abbott and Thatcher Transactional Approach

The current push from environmentalists is to cease coal exports now. That is, shut down an industry, with nothing in its place. However, there are cries from activists, that people can just go ‘retrain’ for something else. Specifically, there is not the structure, investment or opportunities currently for this to occur. Recently, a growing number of activists are also now very adamant, we no longer have time for a transition. We just ‘have to shut down coal now’.

The current climate action push by Greens and other activists to shut down coal is the ideology of Abbott and Thatcher.

1 – Displace workers for an aim. That is – Political (Thatcher), Economic (Abbott) or Environmental (current preferred option of Greens and climate activists)

2 – Respond in a curative unemployment framework by placing the onus on the worker for joblessness with token assistance

3 – Punish joblessness

4 – Reactively respond to the fall out of joblessness and poverty

NOT Democratic Socialism

The above is not democratic socialism. It is not worker-centric. Above all, It is transactional. This approach treats workers as a commodity and ignores the human aspects of change. Seriously, if the Liberals were not invested in coal barons, they’d support this. It’s the Liberal way. As Abbott and Thatcher have already demonstrated. Or as Abbott put it “Liberating the workers’ when he shut down the car industry.

This response is a reactive response, not a proactive response. Specifically, it is ignorant of the complexity of coal regions. In addition, it is ignorant of how the highly concentrated industry of coal affects everything in regional communities. For example, the loss of mining affects jobs, business, population growth, what funding councils get, house prices, housing, future investment, employment and importantly the resultant psychological negative effects that joblessness and poverty brings.

Agency is Crucial for Change

Despite the throwing around of empty concepts of transition, those pushing transitions haven’t consulted with these regions, nor understand them. Furthermore, agency is important in change. In particular, climate change activists and Greens deny regional workers & communities self-agency as participants in change.

The above scenario is why those who have come across me before on Twitter or have read my blog, have seen me take on climate change activists and Greens.

In short, I am NOT pro-coal, but pro-jobs, anti-poverty and support self-agency & inclusion in change. To not do so, is very privileged. Therefore, my stance would be the same for any major displacement of workers in any industry. Coal is currently that industry.

Alternative Two – Leading Supplier of Renewables Using Our Resources

The other scenario Anthony Albanese outlined in his policy speech, is to become the leading supplier of renewables to the world. He advocates this by using our coal and other mineral resources. In addition, the benefits of our industrial makeup and skilled workforce.

By supplying other countries with renewables and associated infrastructure, including developing countries through direct assistance trade programs, we would enter the market as a leading, manufacturer, supplier, innovator and maintainer of renewables products. Albanese also talks up Lithium mining as significant.

As in scenario one, this too would place pressure on other countries to go renewable and as opposed to the preferred scenario pushed by activists, would expedite the take-up rate globally by countries. This then places pressure on coal supply, by reducing the demand.

Some coal is still required for coal made products (metallurgical) and also some thermal, but thermal (energy would decrease, as it is naturally expected to globally via the market). Albanese states that just coal supply for wind turbines alone is significant.

For example, it takes more than 200 tonnes of metallurgical coal to produce one wind turbine. According to forecasts of global growth in wind power capacity to 2030, Australia could be exporting 15.5 million tonnes of coking coal to build these turbines. This is the equivalent of three years output from the Moranbah North coking coal mine in Queensland. (Jobs and Future of Work – Anthony Albanese)

This approach also will assist developing nations to gain access to electricity. Many people in ASEAN nations have no access to cooking or heating. This impacts on poverty and disease. To deny this is a sickening privilege.

Transformational – NOT Transactional

This approach opposite to the cease coal approach is transformational. Therefore, it is not a transactional approach. This approach is in a preventative unemployment framework, not a curative unemployment framework. This is a Democratic Socialist approach. Labor is a Democratic Socialist Party.

This approach will see us use our resources to develop the world in renewables. Consequently, reducing the demand for thermal coal supply and create a new export industry. In turn, this will naturally create more job competition and if targeted to set up in regions, will diversify local economies.

Self-Agency and Human Elements of Change

By developing regions in this way, we give communities agency in change. We give workers self-agency of career change, we recognise and take great care in recognising the human elements of change. We are proactive and not reactive. It’s the opposite of the Abbott & Thatcher approach advocated by Greens.

The market will decide coal use globally. It is how we decide to respond and engage in that, that will renew us or kill us as a nation that enjoys a relatively good quality of life.

The Abbott Way or the Albo Way – Your Choice

Politically the Greens party have targeted Labor, rather than the Liberals for the last four years by attacking coal regions and workers. This has developed into a huge division between city & regions. People fearing for their own livelihoods voted against the left in droves. A move the LNP in QLD brag about and how much they love the Greens.

The first option (ceasing coal and coal exports) and activism around it, has seen huge division, the working-class left, lumped in with the job cancelling enviro left, mainly through the media lens of propaganda and social media climate activism of intentionally suffocating Labor’s election platform online.

Those attacking Albanese and others (including me) for being “right-wing” as we talk about coal jobs, are supporting an Abbott & Thatcher approach, detailed in option 1. I’m glad I take a vocal stance to oppose that view.

This current preferred approach is, transactional. Also, it is reactive in a Curative unemployment framework. Also, this approach ignores the human element of change. Therefore, this denies affected workers and communities agency as participants in change. This is driven by absolutism fueled by the Greens and Climate Activists, including self-identified intelligentsia on Twitter and also some Journalists. This is NOT democratic socialism. Importantly, it is not inclusive.

Support Labor’s Vision for Jobs and the Future

All I ask is you think about and consider the alternative from Albanese’s Jobs and the Future of Work Policy Direction Speech as detailed in Option 2.

This approach to change is Transformational. It is proactive in a Preventative unemployment framework. In addition, it recognises the human elements of change. Importantly, it includes and enables agency for workers and affected communities.

This alternative approach by Labor needs people to support Labor. It does not help progress to feed the divisiveness and keep participating in anti-jobs and anti-coal rhetoric, stigmatising workers and regions and keep fueling the division enabled by the current absolutism of Greens demands and political gameplay of attacking Labor and not the Liberals. As demonstrated at the last election, this just enables the Liberals. Enabling a Liberal Government through blind absolutism is no solution at all.

Support Labor’s Vision

The Greens have taken the strategic approach to attack Labor for the last four years; concentrating on attacking Queensland and Queenslanders, fueling city and regional division. They have led the way in convincing that the Thatcher/Abbott approach of ceasing coal and ceasing coal exports is the ONLY option.

Labor’s option 2, of using our resources and skills to enable global change will be a hard sell to climate activists, as it includes the use of our coal. This is up to the Labor Leadership. The Labor Leadership needs to actively counter Greens, LNP and PHON. They need to lead a proactive and respectful discussion about why we should use our coal resources to assist the entire world transform to renewable energy.

Attack, Attack, Attack

Labor needs to attack the Liberals for having no policy of change. Crucially, this will only see the market blindside us, if nothing is done. There will be mass joblessness and poverty, regardless.

Most of all, Labor needs to start placing massive pressure on the Liberals, for the Government to start investing massively in regional areas to create manufacturing hubs for renewable projects and a massive investment in Research and Development, including course development, research and other projects at University, TAFE and in business.

Supporting Labor with Option 2, is the ONLY way to achieve progress in this area. It is the only option that is inclusive of all stakeholders. It is the only option that is worker-centric.

Supporting Labor’s approach will mean a change for many very loud climate activists on social media. The people who are “stars of the climate action debate on Twitter” will need to do away with the ego thumping, self-adulation, adulation via their fangirling base, sickening and aggressive pile-on and over-reactionary rhetoric and blind hatred of Coal communities and Labor above all else, as they bow to invisible Twitter applause.

If you are passionate about Climate change. Support Labor. The Planet depends on it.


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  1. Ill fares the land

    I agree entirely. The sad thing about the attacks on Albanese is that he has made a realistic and very practical comment. He knows no more coal-fired power stations will be built in Australia and in time, no more will be built overseas, so eventually, by gradually shifting the focus onto renewables, global investment will move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables. Now, it would be nice if coal exports could be shut down now, but they can’t, so the next best option is for governments to drive the uptake of renewables so that the process continues to gain momentum. Thatcher wanted to crush unions because she didn’t believe individual workers should be allowed to increase their power by banding together, but she had no concern at all for the fate of tens of thousands of workers who were turfed out of jobs and in many cases, never found a secure replacement job.

    But all Albanese’s comments achieve is to shift the attack away from the utterly risible Taylor and Mr Smirky McSmirkyface and to turn the heat on him. So yet again, Morrison’s supporters continue to think he is doing a great job (of being a what exactly?) and Albanese is just being … well, what is expected from Labor. .

  2. Marcus Champ

    Some good points have been made, although don’t see anything new…but also could have been made without wholesale misrepresentation of the Greens policy mix, or comparing it to the likes of Thatcher and Abbot. Not unexpected given the author, but not a great way to win friends or influence people. If Labor does become a truly transformative party for the workers, like it is supposed to be, then great. I will be the first to welcome it.

  3. New England Cocky

    Well Trish, an interesting apology for a national history of lost opportunities. The “Great Australian Cultural Cringe” over the past 200+ years has ensured that Australia remains a minor world economy rather than a manufacturing powerhouse following the 19th century American economic development model. Yes, there were some small examples of co-ordinated development in the steel industry when it started in about 1916, but generally the preference was for others to do it.

    The present cohort of entrepreneurs appear to have lost the Cringe and rather take national pride in their achievements in industries. For example, the recently announced broad acre solar farm outside Mt Isa to export electricity to SE Asia is a prime example. People thinking big and prepared to do the planning and hard yards to achieve a goal some years in the future. This is not the present three year political cycle thinking, rather the decades long Snowy Scheme thinking that built Australia after WWII.

    Currently Australia is stagnating at the end of an incredible period of sound economic management created by Labor polices under Hawke, Keating and Rudd the much maligned saviour of Australia from the American bank induced 1989 (?) GFC. This success was sabotaged again by foreign political interests, especially USA (United States of Apartheid) through “traitorous” friends who would drop around for drinks every so often and now after politics have been rewarded with cosy jobs in foreign multinational corporations … much to the loss of the Australian national interest. Remember the players from 1975? Well, the next generation have set back Australia in the same manner without the assistance of the British crown.

    Why are we exporting raw materials rather than finished products? We have sufficient untapped electrical energy resources available to power all European industries were they located within our national borders. But for historical reasons they are not, and the export mentality developed accordingly.

    Now we have the Scummo Lazy Nasty people misgovernment in happy clapper la la land developing the worst third world export economy in the OECD for the benefit of the foreign owned multinational corporations and their shareholders living overseas by having no desire or capability for policy development. Is that treason?

    Enter the Greens, a middle class breakaway group of thinkers who are not prepared to abandon their privileged positions so take a fundamentalist position on a few important areas, like climate change, like preventing energy generation in regional areas because they can see the huge water pipes in the distant country from their inner city cellar windows. Since formation there have been 2/4 leaders who were medical doctors trained at community expense and argue simply for the sake of it. The Greens have failed because they are too geographically dispersed across electorates rather than lack of suitable policies. Think national$, the party you have when you want nothing to change and a fist full of government handouts for your otherwise dubious agricultural enterprise.

  4. Keith

    On so many fronts the LNP are trying to sell us a dead cat. The whole ideology of neo-liberalism is leading to a blind alley destroying social and economic structures. Trickle down doesn’t work, the retail industry is in trouble, post secondary education is in trouble, the Arts industry appears to have been thrown under a bus, and the GIG economy creates uncertainty for workers; these being examples of neo-liberalism’s failures. The LNP will blithely tell us everything is fine. We do need a change of government!!

    But, transition away from coal should have happened decades ago. The latest report presented at the Madrid COP is down right scary. The Report discusses 10 tipping points.
    It’s now literally the case if you wish to cull Earth’s population you continue with a business as usual paradigm. We are already seeing catastrophic fires, drought and the breakdown of the environment now that 1C over pre-Industrial temperature has been reached. We are well on the way to 1.5C. Already almost 4 decades ago scientists working for Exxon were predicting we would reach 1.5C in 2030. Till so far those scientists have been accurate. The research of Vaks et al informs us that permafrost thaws when temperature increases by 1.5C over pre-Industrial times. That is a disaster, as are the dead spots forming in Oceans.

    The export of fossil fuels needs to be stopped quickly; the loss of jobs creates ugly circumstances, a world where fresh water, sea level rise, temperature increase and loss of crops creates a far uglier world. Victoria Falls in Zambia is currently running at a trickle, think about what that means for the regional environment in Zambia.


    One of a number of Reports that do not bode well for the future. Our children have been let down; they have every right to be livid with us.

  5. Kaye Lee


    You have misrepresented Greens policy which has never been to stop all coal immediately.

    They propose phasing out thermal coal exports by 2030.

    They want a scheduled retirement of coal-fired power generation – they have a suggested one….it goes out to 2035.

    They also speak about the jobs and new industries that would be created – the installation, construction and operation of renewables, energy efficiency improvements in homes and businesses, research, agriculture, land restoration, retailing and the rehabilitation of old mining sites, etc.

    They want a $1 billion Clean Energy Transition Fund, to support workers to reskill, relocate or transition to retirement, depending
    on what the personal circumstances require.


    Any discussion about how much this might cost our economy is meaningless unless we compare it to the cost to our economy of not acting – the old dead planet thing, the cost of intensifying natural disasters, the health costs, the farmers forced out of business, mass extinctions, the death of coral reefs. I cannot breathe today the smoke is so bad.

    To hear Albanese quoting Scott Morrison saying if they don’t get coal from us they will get it from someone else was terribly disappointing. Craig Kelly was jubilant on the ABC, demanding that Albanese say “I support Adani” despite the fact that Adani is the only thing stopping Adani from going ahead. They still haven’t got accreditation to run the railway and they still don’t have a royalties agreement. It was always a con.

    As for manufacturing needing coal, Sanjeev Gupta disagrees. He has big plans for Whyalla.

    Gupta doubles down on green industrial plans for Whyalla, powered by cheap renewables

  6. whatever

    It does not bode well when you begin with Tabloid scare tactics about suicide epidemics and ‘the robots will take our jobs’.

  7. Claudio Pompili

    Dutto , as clearly spelt out by Kaye Lee.

  8. Kaye Lee

    According to the ABS, in the 2017-18 financial year, there were around 38,100 people employed in the coal mining industry overall.

    Canberra alone shed 7200 Australian Public Service roles in the five years after 2013. In Queensland, the 2012-13 budget cut 14,000 public service jobs. Are we also concerned about suicides or reskilling or relocating people in the public service?

  9. wam

    There are more uses for coal than can be imagined.
    There are more jobs in Australia based on renewable energy than we can imagine.
    There is huge profit in energy production from wind, water and the sun
    Electric transport had trucks 70 years ago. Shelved by oil lobby
    Trish you are spot on with her assessment of the loonies,
    Very few give a rat’s arse about the diludbransimkims policy. The loonies can say what they like free from responsibility but they killed climate in 2009 and killed shorten in 2019 and will wedge the shit out of albo at every chance narrow nose gets.

  10. Baby Jewels

    “The current climate action push by Greens and other activists to shut down coal is the ideology of Abbott and Thatcher.” The Climate protestors I’m involved with are wanting to stop the opening of new coal mines, specifically Adani, and Clive’s mega-mine, down the track. Not stop coal exports immediately. Most recognise it can’t simply be halted.

    As for those workers in the industry. When they closed down the car industry there were many thousands thrown out of work overnight. I’m unsure what systems were put in place to soften the blow and help get workers back on their feet, but I’m sure that these can be implemented for mine workers.

  11. Baby Jewels

    Kaye Lee. Nothing new about Trish misrepresenting Greens policy. It’s a shame that her misrepresentation and aversion to the Greens then casts doubt on her other assertions.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Baby Jewels, a lot of people seem to harbour a great deal of resentment towards the Greens – my husband is one of them and he continually misrepresents Greens policies, mainly because he has never read them. There are extremists at both ends of the political spectrum. But the actual Greens policies are full of good ideas.

  13. Phil Pryor

    It is sad to read and see a spew of comments, far worse than a Blue Poles of opinion. We should, in decency, phase out thermal coal exports steadily, while finding money and expertise to create industries, thus work, for our coal, a useful all round chemical resource not fully investigated and applied. We could become the leader in technology making all types of equipment for solar, wind, tidal, thermal energy production, using expendables like coal now to achieve a show of long term decency in addressing the eternal pollution and emission problem. It seems big oil is still planning for steady expansion of production. Making steel is very essential and we gave up. We gave up cars and most consumer durables. We aren’t much, good, or use, or value as planners and thinkers. Our conservative ranks are full of such triumphal shitheads that only a Greens and ALP solution or attempt at foresight will satisfy the deadly compromise between existing bad environmental habits and a better future with different ways. Can Australia get all the necessary ideas, opinions, projected solutions, relatively radical changes and necessary support together? No?

  14. Ken Fabian

    Giving full and unequivocal support to the very industries and activities that make the gravest threat to enduring Australian prosperity much worse is just wrong no matter how you spin it. All the coal mining apologetics won’t change that. Treating the climate problem with the seriousness it deserves and requires in not optional; we need leaders who face this problem head on.

    Coal miners can end up honoured for their sacrifices for the future of the nation and the world – with generous redundancy and retraining and relocation packages that most other workers in changing industries never get – or they can become hated and reviled as climate wreckers and potentially become collateral damage in legal challenges that could push far beyond just leaving coal in the ground and include accountability and culpability for past emissions. Climate science denial should be condemned and being a coal miner should not excuse or justify it.

    Between them LNP and Labor own Australia’s government and both, together are proving themselves dangerously irresponsible in the face the climate issue. Climate activists should condemn a enduring, cooperative bipartisan climate position that seeks to grow coal and gas mining without constraint, to grow them as far and as fast as possible, to remove environmental considerations as impediments to new mines, to de-legitimise “alternate” points of view and make protest about it illegal. Blaming a small minority who acknowledge the true seriousness of the climate problem for failing to support utterly inadequate policies – anti-policies – of Labor and LNP is self serving nonsense.

    The choices The Greens made were not pivotal – the choices that Labor and LNP between them made were.

    Policy for a just transitioning those who’s jobs are impacted is a consequence of committing to transitioning away from fossil fuels. As long as Labor and LNP refuse to even accept that fossil fuel mining must be phased out they cannot develop appropriate policies for assisting those who will have to find other kinds of employment.

  15. Kaye Lee


    That always astonished me too – that people blame the Greens for the CPRS failing. The two major parties had consensus, rendering the Greens irrelevant…then Nick Minchin and Andrew Robb sabotaged it by installing sock puppet Abbott who was so chuffed at finally being elected captain of something, he would do whatever it took.

    This is from 2009….by Malcolm Turnbull.

    “Remember Nick Minchin’s defense of the Howard Government’s ETS was that the Government was panicked by the polls and therefore didn’t really mean it.

    Tony himself has in just four or five months publicly advocated the blocking of the ETS, the passing of the ETS, the amending of the ETS and if the amendments were satisfactory passing it, and now the blocking of it.

    His only redeeming virtue in this remarkable lack of conviction is that every time he announced a new position to me he would preface it with “Mate, mate, I know I am a bit of a weather vane on this, but…..”

    Third, there is a major issue of integrity at stake here and Liberals should reflect very deeply on it. We have an Opposition whose current leadership dismisses the Howard Government’s ETS policy as being just a political ploy. We have an Opposition Leader who has in the space of a few months held every possible position on the issue, each one contradicting the position he expressed earlier. And finally we have an Opposition which negotiated amendments to the Rudd Government’s ETS, then reached agreement on those amendments and then, a week later, reneged on the agreement.

    Many Liberals are rightly dismayed that on this vital issue of climate change we are not simply without a policy, without any prospect of having a credible policy but we are now without integrity. We have given our opponents the irrefutable, undeniable evidence that we cannot be trusted.”


  16. Kaye Lee


    Trish makes many valid points about jobs and the impact on certain communities. She says she is pro-job, pro-worker, not pro-coal, but then I don’t understand why she begins the article by talking about it being a valuable export. So is heroin. So are guns. So are slaves. I do not mean to equate those, just to point out that money is not the most important consideration.

    I also don’t understand, if we are focusing on the workers, why we never mention the health impacts on them. Aside from the black lung disease and fine particulate matter pollution, there are the well-documented mental health issues and relationship-strain posed by FIFO work. The bucks are big. Hard to pass up. But at what real cost?

    And I am concerned that the longer we delay in facing the reality that coal jobs will disappear, the less-prepared those communities will be.

  17. Trish Corry

    A leading anti poverty advocate, quite well known, inboxed me, to thank me “for this excellent piece.” I think that carries more weight to me, than the sad attacks on me and the crying over saying anything about the Greens. When the alternative action to compare to by Greens is to shut down coal. Highly relevant to the article as that preferred option is prevalent. The Liberals have no plan at all.

    plus the heaps and heaps of people on Twitter giving it the thumbs up and thanking me for it. And very little pile on from rusted on Greens. In fact, no pile ons at all. Just quips.

    If the Greens do not want to shut down coal, they shouldn’t have screamed it over and over again in QLD. They should be showing leadership and making it clear amongst the very loud voices of their supporters and members “that we don’t have time for a transition” that Greens oppose that.

    I know you always defend that you all aren’t Greens but Labor, but it’s evident most of you don’t like Labor at all.

    My last paragraph is for people like you, who have never given a damn about the workers. Just that you could transition them into invisible jobs, make them into landscapers to fill in mines, or put them on a “UBI” which treats workers as an input into a commodity to be dealt with, upon achievement of the aim. That is transactional. This is the approach of Abbott and Thatcher.

    In addition never consider the high concentration of industry and what it affects in regions, if shut down with nothing in its place is a disaster. Plus thinking it’s a champion idea to not consult with affected industry or communities. That you push all this to get some type of invisible applause without ever thinking what it means.

    If you think that a vision to have Australia become the leading manufacturer, supplier, innovator and maintainer of renewables globally and assist around 200 countries to transform to renewables, ending the reliance on thermal coal in about 200 countries, getting impoverished countries connected for the first time to clean energy, which will drive down demand of thermal coal worldwide, achieve transformation on a global scale (not insular domestic as pushed by Greens) And creating new industry and new exports by producing a product that plays to our strengths of resources, skill set and industry design, which will minimise job impact and economic stability and ward off poverty; is a bad thing, because we will be using coal as an input into the global transformation for a period until no longer required is also a bad thing; then I argue you are a bunch of purist who don’t want change, but just want to oppose it because it’s Labor’s idea, or because I wrote about it.

  18. Roswell

    Trish, I don’t see “sad attacks.”

    As Kaye Lee said you make some very valid points. I totally agree with her – and you on much of what you have written.

    It is a great article. But am I allowed to disagree with parts of it?

  19. totaram

    Roswell: “But am I allowed to disagree with parts of it?”

    No, of course not. You have to agree that the Greens are evil and against Labor, because if the Greens and Labor actually get together somehow, the “coalition” may not get elected again for decades. We can’t allow that to happen can we?

  20. Kaye Lee

    There have been no “sad attacks”, much as you always say there have been Trish. The fact that you want to tell us about the people who have told you how wonderful the article is whilst saying those who want to discuss some points are doing so “to get some type of invisible applause” is kinda sad though. I get the impression that you don’t write articles to invite discussion. Saying silly stuff like “it’s evident most of you don’t like Labor at all” makes me feel like I am in a schoolyard being told who my friends have to be. It’s why I hate the party political system.

    You ignore all the points brought up by other people. I don’t think I have ever heard you mention the catastrophe that is rapidly approaching us due to climate change caused by global heating. To suggest that there has been no consultation with affected industry or communities is just not true.

    Whyalla is a prime example of what can be achieved when there is the will and investment certainty.

    BTW, a UBI and a Jobs Guarantee are entirely different things. Not that I expect you to read any of the links I provide.

    “you are a bunch of purist who don’t want change, but just want to oppose it because it’s Labor’s idea, or because I wrote about it.” Oh for gawd’s sake Trish. What a total non-sequiter to anything that anyone has written.

  21. Matters Not


    the “coalition” may not get elected again for decades

    Possibly so. But while The Greens and Labor continue to brawl there’s much amusement amongst the voters and great joy within the LNP ranks. It’s all too easy.

    Dumbness on a grand scale and none so blind as those who will not see.

    Now down to one in three citizens giving their first preference to Labor. If it wasn’t for Green preferences Labor might lose party status.

  22. Kaye Lee


    I’ll say it again.

    First preference votes
    Labor+Greens=43.74% Lib+Nat+LNP+CLP=41.44%

    Seats minus Queensland
    Labor 62 Coalition 54

    The Coalition only got a majority of seats in Queensland and WA.

    And then we are told that regional areas are being ignored and that miners are being neglected.

    OMG I just heard Anika whatshername (Qld Labor) saying “we don’t take kindly to Mexicans telling us what to do”.

    I want to poke myself in the eye. WTF are Labor doing?????

  23. Matters Not

    Re Anika Wells (Lilley)and

    we don’t take kindly to Mexicans telling us what to do”.

    Every Queenslander knows that – from the short to the tall. It’s a mantra chanted to put babies to sleep and then wake them in the morning. Tis why Queensland does so well in State of Origin against the numerical odds – the passion, the hatred – the locals will always come together to hate the Blues. But look deeper if you will. The ‘Mexican border’ starts from outer Brisbane and that ‘Mexican’ pejorative intensifies the further North you go. Queensland is the most decentralised State in Australia and while the people of Cairns vie with the citizens of Townsville and with other major cities such as Mackay, Rockhampton etc they do combine to loathe those ‘Mexicans’ from Brisbane. And as someone who travelled the State in my work, I observed it first-hand. No daylight saving etc

    I’m from Wells’ electorate, she knows better than most that without Green preferences she was toast. Very lucky to get there against a working class non-entity from the LNP who didn’t really campaign. Got the gig because no-one else thought they were a chance. Should have been a walk-over. Then look also at the swings in nearby Dixon, Petrie, Lilley etc.

    Note that the ALP Review did find that the swings against Labor elsewhere in Queensland was best explained by ‘demographic’ factors. Big swings in mining areas as well as mining States – just ask Fitzgibbon in NSW re the mining demographic. To explain it in terms of Queenslanders is (as I’ve said before) somewhat superficial. Rule of thumb that I grew up with was that when people vote Labor in the State they will then vote anti-Labor at the Federal. Yes Labor is in government in Queensland with a Premier that lacks charisma but that position also needs deeper analysis – Newman factor etc.

    Lots of academic studies explaining why Queensland(ers) are different in fact including those grounded to education (history), mining dependence, lack of immigrant (cultural) influence compared to elsewhere, geographic isolation etc. But people prefer simple slogans. And so it goes.

    Why people vote as they do is best explained in terms of ’emotion’.

  24. Kaye Lee

    I agree with what you are suggesting MN. My point is that the rest of Australia is now being ruled by a government largely because of what regional Queenslanders wanted and yet they still complain. Yes Joel Fitzgibbon suffered a swing against him. But he won. Even in a coal-mining electorate in NSW, more people voted Labor than for the COALition.

    I also heard Luke Gosling on the ABC with Craig Kelly, singing the praises of coal despite the fact that it was a Labor clean-sweep in the NT. Why are they feeling the need to, now of all times, retreat from action on climate change and pander to the coal industry????? Do they want to lose the people who DID vote for them?

  25. corvus boreus

    Maybe naïve but…
    If Australia is to have a newly vitalised renewables manufacturing and export industry powered by domestic consumption of high-grade coal (a current necessity for manufacturing such items), then should we not also be correspondently reducing our exports of coal to compensate for this increase?
    Or is reducing the amount of strayan coal being mined and burned (wherever for whatever purposes) just not a situational priority in the current climate?

  26. Kaye Lee

    I don’t want Queenslanders to listen to New South Welshmen. And I thought we may be past the time when name-calling was considered appropriate particularly when it has a racist basis if not intent.

    I want them to listen to the climate scientists about the urgency of moving away from fossil fuels and I want them to be innovative in coming up with suggestions for what they need to help local communities move forward.

    We have great universities up there. Not sure what the vocational sector is like but that is another employment area. There is also potential for decentralisation of the public service. There is demand for health services. Aged care and child care will be constant needs.

    I know everyone poo poos the high speed rail from Brisbane to Melbourne but I am a fan. That would provide construction jobs. As would providing affordable public housing. Or building the infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

    I don’t know enough about manufacturing in the area to comment but we have to get innovative with that. Building efficiency might be a possibility? Recycling industries?

    It could be a centre for research into sustainable agriculture, disease prevention, biodiversity protection etc. instead of indiscriminate land-clearing, erosion, dangerous fertilisers, water theft for unsustainable crops, holes in the ground depleting finite resources (especially water).

    We need new ideas, not old ones.

  27. Roswell

    I’m wondering what Bill Shorten would be doing today if he was LOTO.

    Would he be going to Queensland to promote coal, or would he be with one of the communities that has been ravaged by bushfires?

    I’m guessing the latter.

  28. paul walter

    Well, I suppose if we (including this site) are not allowed to question the Government itself, there is always Labor or the Greens to fill a bash-hole.

    Both are pitiful and as responsible for the mess Australia is in as is the government, with their interminable bickering.

    But, that hero of the left Albanese capitulating on Adani at this of all times?

  29. Matters Not


    particularly when it has a racist basis

    Yes – but perhaps that’s not an issue here. Travel with Americans and use a sentence like: He’s a funny bastard or He’s a really good bastard or perhaps even Smart bastard – and then watch the reaction to the word bastard. It’s shock and horror all round. For most yanks (is yanks a racist descriptor?), bastard is still given the meaning of an illegitimate child. Or perhaps a vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked person. At the very least it’s not a word to be used in polite company. But for most Australians, good bastard is not a contradiction in terms. In fact, bastard can be a term of endearment. But perhaps only in Australia. Yanks who’ve spent time here invariably say it’s one word that causes initial culture shock.

    When most Queenslanders us the term Mexicans it simply is meant to be a pejorative term to imply from the South. Not one of us – there’s no racial connotations that I’ve detected. Some Queenslanders like some Australians certainly are racists but if it’s a racial epithet you’re looking for it’s likely to be boong or coon or perhaps even black velvet or touch of the tar brush. There’s many and varied racist descriptors but ‘Mexicans’ is not one of them. Suspect that most Australians have never been to Mexico and perhaps many couldn’t find it on a map.


    don’t want Queenslanders to listen to New South Welshmen

    Have no fear of that. Your wish will be granted. Who in Queensland would take advice from a ‘Mex …’ anyway? Only silly bastards?

  30. Kaye Lee

    I am not suggesting that Anika Wells is racist. I am suggesting the people who write the Labor Party talking points are morons. She is a novice. She says the lines she has been fed and it’s obvious.

    You are really making it hard for me not to rejoin with who else is there in Queensland. Oops.

  31. LOVO

    Trish, Kaye, et al… I don’t know where to turn for leadership anymore 😨
    The Libs are corrupt fruit cakes……HELLO
    The Nationals are irrelevant….as per.😤 (and corrupt fruit cakes 😛)
    The Greens are the complete opposite of the Nationals and yet sameo sameo….sigh. 😳
    And then theres the ALP…sigh………………sigh…….
    I grew up in an Labor town….not just a Labor town, BUT…. THE Labor Party town of Labor Party town’s ..Broken Hill. The town that gave australia the 8hr day, OHS, workers rights etc plus squared……but I fear Labor has lost it’s way. Sold out…become ‘Oligarchy’ or at the very least a bunch of me-me’s whom’s carreer self interests trump any thought of empathy for ‘the worker’. After all pre-selection is just a career pathway…..so long as your a staffer, mm….or so it would seem…sigh..
    I don’t recognise my Australia anymore…WTF happened.
    I used to call my self a ‘political tragic’….now I’m just a tragic with a meaningless vote with no preference…
    I love my country, I’m so glad to be an Aussie….but I don’t know who to follow/vote for anymore 😢
    F#ck the Clives, Poolean, Bernadi or Katter types etc they are but frivolous dicks riding the gravy train to our countries detriment..pfftt …
    Anyhoo, my apologies for my rant….sigh.
    Poor fella my country

  32. Kaye Lee


    Labor could and should be our party of choice but they are really moving away from any idea that they would be the party of our salvation. Feeling rudderless is bad for us all, but hard to avoid for many of us right now.

  33. Matters Not

    Wells didn’t lose any electorate support by making the statement she did. And I don’t think she needed any advice. She has instincts. As you say – she’s in an apprenticeship. But if you want serious criticism of Queensland politicians best it comes from Queenslanders.

    More generally, while it’s not good ‘politics’ for a woman to criticise another woman’s appearance – for men to engage in such activity it’s an absolute no – no. Funny that. For women to call each other ‘girls’ is neither here nor there. For a male politician to call a female politician a girl is risking a maelstrom. Same with commenting on female physical appearance. Even if it’s complimentary – like she’s a good .. as Abbott foolishly did. Cultural nuances and all that. Political correctness and all that.

    Ahh, the meanings people give.

  34. Kaye Lee


    I would love to leave Queenslanders to their own devices except it was them who inflicted this government on the rest of us.

    It’s the same as the religious freedom crap. Feel free to practice whatever religion you want but your morality should not be inflicted on the rest of us by law. Your exclusivity should not be funded by the public purse.

    You can’t expect the rest of us to not criticise the people who vote for such an inept government because they think they will get high-paying coal-mining jobs with a company who, despite having approvals in place, seems extremely reluctant to actually start anything. You can’t have job losses from a mine that hasn’t started.

    And I still can’t breathe down here.

  35. paul walter

    Corvus, you could well ask why more tax and royalties were not acquired from gas and coal before the current time.

    Australia lost its crown jewels when it became subordinate to both local magnates and their IPA shills and to several off shore powers with no desire to see a competitive Australia.
    Better we are just morons who dig holes for the big shots, hence the damage done to public and broadsheet news and the collapsing of good legal, social infrastructure and education systems.

  36. paul walter

    As for Kaye Lee, you should get mr/ms Lee to do a uni course on enviro theory so that he/she understands the better the role and linkage of economics and enviro.

    I understand why Laborites might object to the Greens rejections of Rudd’s ideas a decade ago. The last thing we needed was a sort of petulance that opened the doors to destabilisation of that government.

    But there has always been the problem of lobbyist pressure and the feeling that some Labor politicians gave up a good fight to avoid strife with big vested interests, as they did in 1994 over forest tranches, something that broke my belief in Labor as an objective arbiter for the nations affairs and therefore would have angered ecologically/economically minded Australians.

    We see the result of this with the disaster that is water policy and what harm that has brought to productivity and as for the bushfires, christ knows what the costs will be to the nation for the neo lib meanness that ES funding cuts,”efficiencies” nonsenses, visited upon adequate preparation for the current disasters.

    This is especially when the governments in Sydney and Canberra refuse to acknowledge fearful errors driven perhaps by venality and laziness or are prepared to prosecute the fight against the massive fires for, I believe, quite contemptible reason that appear to be avoided by media.

    Trish, I know there have been political realities, but believe Kaye Lee has again asked substantial questions and offered substantial thoughts.

  37. Zathras

    I can’t remember who it was but an American author once observed that “You can’t tell where the Coal Industry ends and the Australian Government begins” and I think that says a lot about our political parties.

    Perhaps a discussion of the facts about the industry would be a start, such as the impact that halting coal exports would affect our GDP by only about 2.2% and the number of people employed by it (not all mining, just coal) is less than the number of jobs that were lost when we shut down the car industry. Add the massive cost of government subsidies and there’s not so much profit in exporting coal at all – not for taxpayers at least. There may be more profit in manufacturing solar panels and mining and exporting the rare earths that drive modern technologies but as long as we’re shackled to 19th century thinking nothing will happen.

    Unfortunately both main parties are too spooked and financially dependent on that industry to take any meaningful action and the only remedy is to replace them all with people who are prepared to think and act differently, but in a historically conservative and frightened society like ours, that’s never going to happen.

  38. anthony nolan

    Labor’s just transition for actual coal mine workers should aim to redeploy them as firefighters. That’s where the jobs of the future are right now.

  39. Pingback: Scott Morrison - These People Need Kindness More than YOU - » The Australian Independent Media Network

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