Fitzgibbon wants climate spokesman dumped

Matt Coughlan
·1-min read

Rouge Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon has called for the party's climate change spokesman Mark Butler to be stripped of the portfolio.

The factional enemies were locked in a bitter dispute on energy policy leading up to Mr Fitzgibbon's resignation from shadow cabinet earlier in the week.

Mr Fitzgibbon said Labor needed a new person to convince voters the party's climate policy would not hurt family budgets or industries.

"Mark can go to another senior portfolio. He's a very smart guy," the NSW right faction heavyweight told Sky News.

"There are plenty of things he could do but we need a new advocate bringing a fresh face and a fresh approach."

Mr Fitzgibbon said Mr Butler had been in the role for seven years, presiding over two election losses with climate policies rejected on both occasions.

He insisted he was focused on his Hunter Valley electorate rather than returning to the front bench to replace Mr Butler.

"I'm just a humble back bencher in her majesty's loyal opposition," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"I'm going home to focus on my electorate and win back the hearts and minds of my people."

After spending the week outlining a pitch to woo blue-collar votes, Mr Fitzgibbon had more advice for Anthony Albanese.

He wants the opposition leader to visit coal mines, gas projects, abattoirs and manufacturing plants in regional NSW and Queensland.

"Shake some hands, show some love and thank them for what they are doing for their country."