During the 2007 election campaign, that would elect Kevin Rudd, there was a discussion about nuclear power in Australia.

On July 30th, CFMEU mining division boss, now National President, Tony Maher gave an interview on Meet The Press program where he said:

The real threat to coal miners’ job security and power workers’ job security is 25 nuclear reactors in Australia.

On November 19, 2007 the CFMEU placed the following advertisement in the Courier Mail at the bottom of page 21:

Courier Mail, 19 November 2007, page 21

This is the real threat to coal power plants, from those who want to support them the most. Tony Maher continued:

That’s the harsh reality. A solar farm down the road is not going to close down a coal-fired power station. But 25 nuclear reactors will.

A bold statement but not surprising coming from the union representing coal workers. Their position is that they are not worried about solar, alone, disrupting coal power generation. Together, renewables with nuclear would be a threat to the future of coal power.

It could explain why the CFMEU is willing to donate to the party that opposes coal, but supports solar:

Donation data sourced from the Australian Electoral Commission.

With another federal election coming soon, we should all pay close attention to the details of decarbonisation policies. Are they supporting vested interests, ideologies of times past or pragmatic action?