Central Queensland LNP voters wait and watch the new Labor government’s policies on coal
Fresh out of school, Michael Kidd has arrived in the coal country of central Queensland, excited to make the most of the mining boom.
“When I first moved to Blackwater there were a lot of people on the list,” he said.
“The city was flourishing.”
Now living in Rockhampton, the father of four says Blackwater has changed over the past 15 years, but he continues to support the mining community.
“Places like Blackwater where the camp is in the community, we go eat at the local pub, have coffee at the local cafe, at the bakery,” he said.
Mr. Kidd lives in the federal constituency of Capricornia and works in the nearby town of Flynn.
Despite the rise of Greens and Independents in the capitals, Queensland’s mining communities have remained loyal to the Liberal National Party.
But there are concerns about what a change of government will mean for those who live off the resource sector.
“A lot of Labor policies, which I probably agree with very well, but it seems to me that [the LNP] is pro-coal, pro-mining,” he said.
“There’s a lot of talk from Labor about how we’re looking to get away from coal, to shut down coal-fired power stations.”
With his livelihood in mind, the 35-year-old voted for LNP incumbent Michelle Landry, who retained Capricornia for a fourth term.
“I feel a little better about the fact that there’s a voice for people like me – that’s basically why people in this area voted this way.”
The workforce to “continue the extraction and export of coal”
Re-elected Labor Senator Murray Watt said the view of Labor as anti-coal was the result of a “fear campaign led by the LNP”.
“We will continue to mine and export coal for some time,” he said.
Labor has committed to net zero emissions by 2050, as well as a 2030 target of a 43% reduction in emissions.
“What will be different under a Labor government is that we will also try to develop new industries and new jobs in regional areas,” he said.
The party said its Powering Australia plan would create more than 600,000 new jobs, cut electricity prices by $275 a year per household by 2025 and spur private investment.
It does not mention the closure of mines or coal-fired power plants.
“Swings of up to 11% at Dysart, 8% at Moranbah, 10% at some Emerald cabins.
“Now people will have the opportunity to see with their own eyes what a Labor government is doing, I think they will see that these scare campaigns were completely wrong.”
Disconnect ‘between politics and reality’
In Flynn’s constituency, rancher and miner Chris Whiteman said some were concerned about the future implications of a policy change.
“People are afraid of change, and the fact that we have moved from a long Liberal government to a new Labor government, there is some concern in the industry about what might happen,” he said. declared.
The LNP voter has lived near Rolleston in central Queensland for two decades.
“However, there is definitely an appetite for it in downtown voters.”
The 46-year-old said there was a disconnect “between the politics and the reality” of phasing out coal.
“For any government that wants to move away from coal, the industries that replace coal jobs will have to come before the coal mines close,” he said.
“There will have to be a transition that involves other industries coming to the same areas where the coal mines are, replacing and seeking employment from people working in coal.”
He said he would be watching closely how Labor changes its policy.
“Only time will tell. Let’s hope this government takes care of us and doesn’t do anything too reckless,” he said.
“We’re not going anywhere”
Kym Hellmuth, her husband and two children, work in their Emerald-based family business.
They operate the engineering company, which has served the mining, agricultural and civil industries since 1997.
“We’re not going anywhere soon, and we can definitely see that,” Ms Hellmuth said.
With 60% of its operations dependent on the coal industry, Ms Hellmuth hoped Labor would not be pushed too far by the Greens and Independents.
“With climate control and emissions, you read certain policies, and you just think, ‘Oh, where is this going to end,'” she said.
Ms Hellmuth said it was a misconception that the industry was already ending.
“We still have many years of coal living here, and I don’t think southern Australia realizes that,” she said.
“We are all heading towards zero emissions, but we have a little time to get there.
Post , updated