Labor slams AMWU alliance with climate group LEAN over push to rip out home ovens, heaters
Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon says LEAN’s actions will cost the party another election.
RICHARD FERGUSON REPORTER
9:08AM SEPTEMBER 20, 2020
Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon has slammed the manufacturing workers union for forming an alliance with an ALP climate change group that he claims wants to rip out ovens, hotplates and heaters from Australian homes.
The AMWU’s incoming national secretary Steve Murphy unveiled an alliance with the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) over the weekend, despite manufacturing’s long reliance on coal and gas.
Mr Fitzgibbon — the opposition resources spokesman who has long opposed LEAN’s actions within the Labor Party — said the manufacturing union was risking another federal election loss with its new alliance.
“We don’t need these people consistently and constantly pulling us to the far left,” he told Sky News.
“This is the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union in bed with green left-wing groups who are anti coal … (and) we can’t have a manufacturing sector without gas.
“LEAN, the group the AMWU are now bizarrely in an alliance with, wants to rip out our ovens, our heaters, our homes, smash our hotplates and replace them with electric can you believe.
“What is the once proud Manufacturing Workers Union doing forming an alliance with a group I say is ideologically driven, unrealistic in its expectations … and who are determined it seems to cost Labor another election.”
Mr Fitzgibbon also ramped up his rhetoric on moving to the centre on climate policy on Sunday, days after The Australian revealed Labor’s draft election platform would drop emissions targets for 2030.
The Labor frontbencher and Right faction leader said Australia should do more on climate change, but warned Labor should “go slow” on the policy.
“We need to stop running ahead of the rest of the world when we’re 1.3 per cent of carbon output.
“If China and the US and those other big emitters aren’t doing the heavy lifting, then we can’t hope to make a difference in Australia alone.
“We need to do better but we’ve got to be slow about it because it has an impact on our election outcomes … you can have the best climate policy in the world, but if you’re perpetually in opposition it won’t make much of a difference.”