Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has resigned from the frontbench after opting to support Barnaby Joyce’s demand to be reinstated into the Nationals leadership.
Senator Canavan congratulated Michael McCormack for his re-election as Leader of the Nationals in a statement after Joyce’s failed attempt.
“It has been a great honour to work with Michael and the Prime Minister as part of Cabinet. I will now commit to supporting Michael and the Coalition as a Senator for Queensland,” Canavan said.
“Over the last decade the Nationals have become the true party of the worker. The people we fight for are those that wear bright orange, bright yellow and even right pink. They are the most visible people in the airport but they often get ignored by the comfortable commentariat of our nation.”
Among those showing appreciation for his leadership as Minister for Resources is the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).
Andrew McConville, chief executive of APPEA, commended Canavan on his drive and focus on the key issues facing the sector.
“Senator Canavan’s tireless and passionate role championing our industry over almost four years has been critical to its ongoing success.”
As Minister for Resources, APPEA said Canavan had urged the unlocking of domestic gas resources in the face of strong political opposition.
“Senator Canavan has been instrumental in providing the vision for the development of the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory and has been a vocal advocate for Australia’s growing LNG export industry,” McConville said.
“It has been on Matt’s watch that Australia assumed the mantle of world’s largest LNG producer.”
APPEA and its member companies have expressed their well wishes to Canavan in his ongoing role as deputy leader of the Nationals in the Senate, and look forward to working with David Littleproud as acting resources minister.
Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane said Senator Canavan’s resignation from the Nationals frontbench was unfortunate.
“Matt Canavan is well known for his support of Queensland’s powerhouse commodities of coal and gas which provide energy to Australia and the world, as well as providing the building blocks for everything from modern cities to mobile phones,” he said.
“But Matt has also been just as passionate about the new opportunities in critical minerals and expanding markets, which will consolidate Queensland and Australia’s role as a resources superpower.
“In Queensland alone, the resources sector supports more than 372,000 jobs which are spread across every town and city.”