What’s on Albo’s agenda during Gladstone visit
ANTHONY Albanese will meet with manufacturing workers and Labor members this week during his first visit to Gladstone as the leader of the Labor Party.
Following the party's May 18 election defeat in Flynn and across regional Queensland Mr Albanese will attempt to reconcile with voters who felt Labor's message went against its traditional values.
During his visit Mr Albanese will have a meet and greet with Labor members at a Gladstone pub on Wednesday and will tour the Rio Tinto-owned Boyne Smelters Limited on Thursday.
Ahead of his regional Queensland tour Mr Albanese yesterday touched on one of the polarising topics which prompted many Labor voters to turn their backs on the party - coal.
During an interview with 2GB radio host Steve Price, Mr Albanese backed Australia's coal exports.
He said to act on climate change Australia should prioritise reducing greenhouse gas emissions under strong global agreements, but that wouldn't be achieved by stopping the millions of tonnes of coal that are shipped from Australia to the world.
"That would likely lead to an actual increase in global emissions because much of our coal is much better quality than what is available from the alternatives," he said.
Mr Albanese added it was "obvious" there would not be a new coal-fired power station built in Australia because it did not economically stack up.
In Flynn, a must-win seat during the federal election, Labor's second-time candidate Zac Beers suffered a 7.6 per cent swing against him as voters sent a clear message about coal, industry and franking credits.
Similar swings were seen in other regional Queensland seats, with Labor winning just 20 per cent of seats in the sunshine state.
Labor's scathing review on the election result, released last month, identified former Labor leader Bill Shorten's unpopularity, an anti-coal and anti-industry sentiment, and policies such as the abolition of franking credits as some of the main causes for the defeat.
It also identified Mr Shorten's response to a Gladstone Ports Corporation contractor who asked for tax relief for high-income earners as one of the key election moments.
Labor had already outlined a policy to restore the two per cent deficit levy for incomes over $180,000, but Mr Shorten replied to the worker "we're going to look at that".
Mr Albanese's regional tour starts today at Emerald and he will also visit Barcaldine, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie.