Labor members seek pro-coal worker stance
A GROUP of 20 federal Labor members and senators have been meeting and corresponding to push for greater support for coal workers and steer the party away from the Greens.
Ten News reported on Tuesday the "Otis Group" - named after the Canberra restaurant which serves as a meeting venue - had met without the knowledge of party leader Anthony Albanese.
At least nine of them are Labor frontbenchers.
Group member and Right faction powerbroker Don Farrell said it was a meeting of "good solid Labor people".
"The Otis Group is just a group of Labor people who are interested in supporting coal workers," he said.
In an email obtained by Ten News, another member of the group, NSW MP Joel Fitzgibbon, expressed frustration with internal party processes.
"While they are not regularly used, I try to submit draft 'questions without notice' every day," he wrote.
"One of the things I'd like our group to do is provide feedback and ideas to improve both our electoral fortunes and reflect the group's views."
A third member, Victorian senator Kimberley Kitching, said the group had been set up to "discuss ideas and put forward views".
"It's a group of parliamentarians who are trying to support working Australians," she said.
Mr Albanese has said there is no place for new coal-fired power plants in Australia and that any decision about future coal mines is a matter for the market.
In December he visited coal-mining areas in Queensland to talk to workers about the future of industry and jobs and the transition to a zero emissions economy.