’Hulk Hogan of Australian politics’ checks out the regions
A ROUND of name-calling has broken out between two of the country's most senior politicians as Anthony Albanese started a four-day road trip pledging to support "any project in Queensland or anywhere else" that creates jobs.
The Opposition Leader opened his Queensland listening tour today by savaging Resources Minister Matt Canavan, calling him "a boy" before Mr Canavan hit back, labelling Mr Albanese the "Hulk Hogan of Australian politics".
The spat broke out after Mr Canavan challenged Mr Albanese to use his swing through regional Queensland to say "three simple words: I support Adani".
"Matt Canavan is a boy and, what I don't do is, when a boy makes a request, agree to him in a snap," Mr Albanese said in Brisbane this morning
"This is childish from Matt Canavan. What I want to hear Matt Canavan say is to complete the sentence: 'there will be a new coal-fired power station subsidised by the Government that I'm a minister in at X location'."
Mr Canavan immediately returned serve, telling The Courier-Mail Mr Albanese shared at least one quality with famed performance wrestler Hulk Hogan.
"He only pretends to fight," Mr Canavan said.
"We are not silly in north Queensland. We know when someone is trying to have a lend. Albo is trying to say he now supports coal but he won't fight back against the Greenies who are attacking coal mines like Adani. If he's not going to fight, what's the point of him coming to visit us?"
Mr Albanese said he would tour areas struggling with unemployment levels well above the national average and understood people were desperate for new projects such as mines that created jobs.
He said every mine had to meet environmental standards and secure private funding however once those hurdles were cleared should be fully supported.
"I support the jobs that will be created by any project, any project in Queensland or anywhere else for that matter," he said.
Mr Albanese is expected to visit Barcaldine, Emerald, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Gympie this week.
"I'll be walking into pubs and I'll be talking to people about the issues that concern them," he said.
"And I'm sure they'll tell me their views and we'll take all of them into account."