Hunter Valley Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon has this week called for his party to be more proactive in engaging with some of the highest-earning individuals in the country, like the coal miners in his electorate.

Fitzgibbon, who quit the front bench this week after an internal battle about climate change policy, appears to be saying more than he’s said in the last twenty year of politics in the 48 hours since he moved to the backbench.

Honest Joel has demanded Albanese give Shadow Climate Minister Mark Butler another portfolio at the end-of-year reshuffle, because “we need a new advocate bringing a fresh face and a fresh approach” to ignoring these pesky large-scale shifts in weather patterns that have been caused by industrial decadence and late-stage capitalism.

Fitzgibbon’s comments appear to speak to a larger issue, namely the fact that 20% of his electorate voted for One Nation last election after being seduced by the far-right conspiracist party’s full blown denial of climate science.

Labor powerbrokers have backed Anthony Albanese’s capacity to connect with blue-collar workers, with party’s executives keeping the faith in his ability to remain relevant with that nation’s cashed up FIFOs.

Fitzgibbon’s calls to wind back the level of ambition in Labor’s climate policy has some support within the caucus, his brash commentary is enraging a majority of Labor colleagues, who are fighting tooth and nail to maintain marginal Green seats across the cities.

Fitzgibbon says if Labor don’t pipe down with all their science stuff and put their head in the sand, they might lose the support of all the blokes who get paid up to $180,000 a year to drive trucks in circles at 35km per hour.

“I don’t want to show any lack of or any level of disrespect for Mark Butler, but he has been in that portfolio for seven years,” Fitzgibbon told Sky News.

“And in that time he hasn’t once said that climate change might not be real”

“That’s not the type of messaging we want to be getting out to the voters”

“Especially in my electorate, where they have proven they will break ties with their historic loyalty to the Labor Party if we can’t guarantee them nothing will ever change in their lives, namely their enormous salaries”



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