New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Collinsville.
Thanks to a $4 million taxpayer cheque for a feasibility study into a new coal-fired power station in the north Queensland mining town, Collinsville has been put on the map.
And like the Adani coalmine, the legend describing the Collinsville proposal’s place on the map has a different definition depending on one’s political stripes.
For some, it’s unthinkable in the face of climate change, while for others it’s a golden beacon of hope.
On the face of it, it’s a promise of jobs, jobs, jobs and manufacturing industry support for the Morrison government.
But peek behind the slogans and it’s a point of contention between the Queensland-based Nationals and moderate city Liberals.
It’s the rope in a game of tug-of-war between the moderate Liberals wanting more action on climate change, while the Nationals are cheerleading for coal.
And they’re particularly loud when it comes to a potential brand-new coal-fired power station.
The feasibility study fulfils an election promise geared towards the Queensland Liberal National Party, who have publicly posed with the would-be owners of the power station for close to a year.
While the $4 million cheque has been signed to determine the project’s feasibility, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has kept mum on how much protecting Collinsville from future changes in climate policy could cost.
Australian Industry Group puts the estimate at $17 billion – of taxpayer money.
Collinsville’s promotion as a “high-efficiency, low-emissions” power station won’t cut it in the electorates calling out for more climate action in the wake of the devastating climate change flamed bushfires.
Climate protesters continue to descend on Canberra, with enough rallying last week to encircle the perimeter of Parliament House.
But Labor has coal on its face too.
Deputy leader Richard Marles began the week unable to find a clear answer on whether Labor would support a new coal-fired power station, trying to frame it as a decision for the market.
It prompted Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese to come out with a firm position, saying later in the week that asking if he supports such a proposition is like asking if he believes in unicorns.
That was before it emerged 20 members of the party – mostly Right faction operators – has been meeting without Mr Albanese’s knowledge, in a bid to mine more support for coal workers.
As with Labor’s position on Adani, the public are left scratching their heads.
The government has lapped it up, using Question Time on Friday to try and talk up the government’s “consistent” approach to resources and point to “rebel” MPs in Labor.
Labor were quick to point towards the Nationals bench in the chamber, to the government members threatening to start their own mini party in an attempt to bring Nationals leader Michael McCormack down.
Failed mutineer Barnaby Joyce has warned the party risks disappearing if his backers leave the Nationals.
For the public, the government and Labor’s finger pointing over coal, climate and energy amounts to the pot calling the kettle black – with no clear plan to transition to net zero emissions by 2050.
There are islands of stability – One Nation is vehemently for coal, while the Greens are not.
A voice of reason in the middle of the climate debate risks being drowned out by those with bigger political megaphones.
Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel used an address to the National Press Club this week to say the transition to a clean energy future would involve natural gas and coal, if we don’t want to reduce our standard of living.
Dr Finkel has a technology neutral approach, meaning he’s not concerned about the type of technology being used to reduce emissions, as long as emissions are going down.
But a plan and political will is vital, he says.
As for the tone of the climate debate in Australia, Dr Finkel had a clear message: “Don’t polarise. That’s the biggest part of the problem.”
“Be open minded, be positive.”