Anthony Albanese is facing anger and criticism from his left flank after he opened up huge swathes of Australian waters for gas and oil exploration and visited Murdoch media bosses.
Despite campaigning to take action on climate change, and just days after passing a 43 per cent emissions reduction target through the House of Representatives, Mr Albanese released 47,000 square kilometres for fossil fuel drilling last Wednesday.
Resources Minister Madeleine King – a member of Labor’s right faction – said the release was necessary to alleviate future domestic gas shortfalls.
Mr Albanese, who is riding high in the polls and marks 100 days in power on Monday, backed the move by saying fossil fuels will be important for years to come and flippantly telling journalists ‘you came here by car’ to prove his point.
The Greens, teal independents and even some of his own supporters on social media slammed the decision, with some calling the way he justified it ‘insulting’.
Writer and environmental activist Sean Doherty, who supported Mr Albanese during the election campaign, wrote a scathing Instagram post on Sunday blasting the decision and saying Mr Albanese had had a ‘sh*t week’.
‘Very disappointed that the climate wars are far from over. Talked a big game at the election, and then this week turned around and handed the gas gronks 46,000 sq km of new offshore exploration acreage to play with,’ he wrote.