Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd wants to know where Labor candidate Zac Beers stands on coal.
Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd wants to know where Labor candidate Zac Beers stands on coal. Chris Lees

Ken O'Dowd takes coal fight to Labor candidate

HE MAY be facing a challenge from within, but LNP MP Ken O'Dowd isn't taking his eyes off his Labor challenger either.

Mr O'Dowd yesterday seized on comments made by ALP energy spokesman Mark Butler, who said he did not believe the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's report on power prices justified the construction of more coal-fired power stations.

The Member for Flynn said Labor was being "swayed by their Green-tinged southern puppet-masters putting at risk thousands of Central Queensland jobs".

"The question for Zac Beers is; we know Bill Shorten and Mark Butler do not support coal as reliable, affordable base-load power, but will Zac Beers get behind my push for new power stations in central Queensland and upgrading existing power stations?" he said.

"We are exporting coal from Central Queensland to international markets for HELE power stations so those countries can achieve reliable, affordable and dispatchable base-load power.

"Where does Mr Beers stand on our coal future?"

Mr Beers said if Mr O'Dowd was serious about building a coal-fired power station in Central Queensland, the Coalition had been in power since 2013 so "he should get on with it".

"Despite Ken's blatant and outright lies, the Labor Party supports coal-fired power generation," he said.

"We understand coal-fired power is essential for base-load power and is vital for households and industry... but the fact is that it is cheaper for new generation capacity to be built through renewable energy.

"Labor's policy of a transition to 50 per cent renewable energy is about having a sensible mix of renewable energy and coal-fired power, it's not about one or the other.

"If Ken is serious about reducing energy costs for households and businesses he should genuinely get behind investment in the sector."