Look, my history before I came to this job, I actually represented coal-fired power station workers in their battles to preserve their wages and conditions. It’s something that has been close to my heart for a long period of time and my message is very clear – coal and gas workers are not the enemy.
In fact, we owe a debt of thanks to coal and gas workers for helping power our country and create the products that we all use, but we just know now that we can’t keep going with coal and gas.
The scientists have been crystal clear. The floods, the fires, the droughts that we’re all living through are fuelled by coal and gas.
So we need to get out of it and we need to do it quickly, but we need to do it in a way that supports people and communities who are currently dependent on coal and gas.
And so our message has been very clear – let’s get out of coal and gas, let’s stop opening new coal and gas mines, but let’s do it in a way that supports those workers, ensures they don’t lose pay and income, and also creates the jobs that will be secure high-paying jobs in areas where they need because we’re blessed in Australia with so many minerals that the world is going to need to create batteries, to create green steel, and the best job in many instances for a coal worker is another mining job.