Federal MP for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.
Federal MP for Flynn Ken O'Dowd. Liana Walker

COAL PLEDGE: O'Dowd's commitment to mine 'unquestioned'

FEDERAL member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd has criticised Labor Leader Bill Shorten's decision not to sign the CFMEU pledge to protect mining and energy workers' rights and jobs.

Mr O'Dowd said his commitment to the Adani project was unquestioned.

"The CFMEU is only asking Labor candidates to sign the pledge because they have never shown any commitment to the project," he said.

"The fact Mr Shorten has refused to sign it proves he can't be trusted not to backflip on approving the project and the thousands of jobs it will create."

In Gladstone yesterday, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O'Connor said Labor wanted an independent umpire review the Australian Council of Trade Unions' proposal for a minimum wage increase of $73 per week.

"We will elevate the cost of living as a factor to be considered by the independent umpire, because the last fair work decision on national wage review last year made clear we have in this country, full-time workers that are still struggling to make ends meet," Mr O'Connor said.

"We want to see a real wage increase, and we want to see the minimum wage in this country be a living wage."

Mr O'Dowd said the only way to lift wages was a stronger economy, which creates more jobs and higher wages.

"You can't get a pay rise if you don't have a job."