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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

10 November 2006

Come clean on coal Mr Beazley

Kim Beazley must today sever ties with anti-coal lobby group ’GetUp’ – a radical anti-fossil fuel pressure group, linked closely to Labor.

Mr Beazley also needs to come clean about the ALP’s stance on the Australian coal industry following revelations today that two senior ALP figures, Bill Shorten and Victorian ALP candidate Evan Thornley, are board members of GetUp, a group which has called on Australians to “kick the coal habit” and which supports the shut down of Australia’s coal mining communities.

Today’s revelations come hot on the heels of revelations that the Labor dominated Newcastle City Council introduced measures that would shut down the Hunter Valley coal industry by passing motions which:

establish a cap on coal exports”
“initiate a moratorium on new coal mines”
“establish a levy on the coal industry

“What does Beazley’s Labor stand for?”

On one hand Labor frontbencher, and Member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon has said in relation to the Newcastle City vote, that “Extreme environmentalists are launching a jihad against the industry in an attempt to close it down”* while Mr Shorten and Mr Thornley sit on the board of GetUp which wants to send the coal industry packing.

The 5,000 families in the Hunter region whose livelihoods depend on the local coal industry must be wondering about their future were Labor to come to power.

But this is not the first time Beazley’s Labor has taken a doctrinaire approach to the Hunter Valley coal industry. In May this year Federal Labor Member for Charlton Kelly Hoare advocated for the end of coal mining in the Hunter Valley. In a letter to me she wrote:

The Hunter is one of the world’s carbon capitals and home to a rapacious mining industry”, and that the proposed “Anvil Hill [coal mine] is a key part of the Hunter Valley Coal export expansion which needs to be stopped if the world is to avoid climate change.

Labor is in thrall to the radical deep greens—who are driving a strong anti-coal agenda under the guise of environmental stewardship—and is hopelessly divided on the future of Australia’s coal industry and climate change strategy.

* AFR Friday 10-11-06, Pg 9

Media contact:
Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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