And other coal-mining districts and ALP heartland. The temperature is rising in the conflict between Old Labor and the greencoats of the Labor Environmental Action Network.
Mr Fitzgibbon has attacked the Labor Environment Action Network over its “fundamentalist” policies, claiming that Labor had made a mistake in adopting a “certain religious zeal” in its environmental policies at the last two elections. The opposition resources spokesman said LEAN volunteers who were attending branch meetings and party events with green T-shirts were giving the party a bad image.
“Those green T-shirts, of course, represent the colour of choice of one of our main political opponents, the Australian Greens,” he told Sky News.
What colour to do you get when you blend green with the turquoise of Zali Steggalls followers?
Mr Fitzgibbon is supported by Dan Walton (national secretary of the AWU). Others who have been named as members of the pro-coal Otis Group are Kimberley Kitching, Daniel Mulino, Raff Ciccone and Anthony Byrne. There are more because there has been talk of a dozen or score of members in the group. Reliable information would be appreciated!
In the other corner of the ring LEAN was founded by Kristina Keneally (home affairs spokeswoman) and Jenny McAllister(opposition cabinet secretary) to push for more climate action. The forum convened by the LEAN Hunter Branch this week features Kate Washington (Labor environmental spokeswoman, AMWU state secretary Stevy Murphy, Tony Wood from Grattan Institute and Dominique Hess (Beyond Zero Emissions).
To complicate the situation there is the cross-factional Labor Friends of Resources and Resources Communities group of almost 30MPs that will host industry events and tours of resources projects. This move has been attributed to the Queenslander Milton Dick, no doubt inspired by the Adani debacle One of the leaders is left-wing frontbencher Murray Watt, the opposition spokesman for northern Australia. Others are Matt Keogh, Shayne Neumann, Michelle Rowland, Madelein King and Terri Butler.
On the non-Labor side (not really the conservative or Coalition side) there is a burgeoning Coalition for Conservation or Coalition for Climate Action that includes all our favourite people including Malcolm Turnbull and Christina Talako (aka Mrs Photios). Tim Wilson MP has recently emerged as a standard bearer for this cause.
On the other non-Labor side of the Conservative ranks is the Monash forum (putting the coal back into the Coalition?) with maybe 20 more of our favourite people like Craig Kelly, Tony Abbott, Eri Abetz and Matt Canavan.
In case that picture is not complicated enough there is bipartisan coalition of interests led by Craig Kelly and Joel Fitzgibbon to support carbon capture and storage.
Getting back to the call for Cats, it will be good to recruit letter-writers in the electorates of the Otis group and I will be keen to identify them when I have more names. Joel Fitzgibbon represents Hunter, Kitching and Ciccone are Victorian senators, Daniel Mulino is the member for Fraser in Victoria, and Anthony Byrne is the member for Holt in Victoria. We have a man in Holt already so we might get an interesting reply there.