From the Hunter's mining communities to the floor of federal parliament, Labor's newly appointed resources spokesperson Joel Fitzgibbon has vowed to continue arguing the case for coal with "great energy and commitment".
Despite a personal track record of support for the industry, the veteran Hunter MP suffered a stunning 14.21 per cent swing away from him to One Nation in last month's federal election.
It was largely on the back of a growing view in the coal mining heartland that Labor had become ambivalent towards the industry in the Hunter Valley and Queensland.
Mr Fitzgibbon was keen to reassure voters on Wednesday that his party remained committed to the coal industry's future.
He added that any mining project that did not need taxpayer funding and meet environmental tests would be backed by Labor.
"Most of our coal is exported and global demand for our relatively clean and efficient coal will remain strong for decades to come," Mr Fitzgibbon, who added resources to his existing agriculture portfolio, told the Newcastle Herald.
"On the domestic front, even if we manage to secure 50 percent of our electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030, the other 50 percent will be delivered by coal and gas generation."
Mr Fitzgibbon said he was confident several evolving wind and solar projects across the Hunter electorate could co-exist with the coal industry.
"The Hunter has a great opportunity to create new jobs in the renewables sector while also providing base-load electricity from existing coal and new gas generators," he said.
"The Bayswater and Earring coal generators will be in the system for at least 15 years.
"As Labor's resources spokesman I'll be making it clear that we support mining and mining jobs".
Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union national president Tony Maher endorsed Mr Fitzgibbon's role as Opposition energy spokesperson.
"Joel understands the importance of the resources industry to the national economy and to the communities it operates in, for generating jobs and economic activity," he said.
"As the long-term Member for Hunter, he has also seen first hand the challenges faced by mine workers, their families and communities, like the permanent casual work model pushed by mining companies in recent years.
"Joel will advocate for a strong and fair resources industry that generates good jobs and delivers benefits back to mining communities and the nation, not just executives and shareholders."