Barnaby Joyce's state counterpart - a Nationals Cabinet Minister - slammed his opposition to new renewable energy in his electorate as "banal and binary and prehistoric" on Friday.
In an interview with the Times, Member for Northern Tablelands and Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall condemned as hypocritical Mr Joyce's opposition to the New England Renewable Energy Zone.
The Federal MP last month told the Times he would lobby the Commonwealth against the legislated zone, which he said will turn his electorate into a "sea of wind farms".
"It's irresponsible as an MP to oppose a project that actually has the support and acceptance of the community, like the New England Solar Farm outside Uralla," he said.
"The largest in Australia, and it has the support of the community.
"We're talking about billions of dollars of investment. We're talking about hundreds and hundreds of jobs. Why would you oppose that if the community supports it?"
State government plans accommodate for as much as 8,000 megawatts of wind, solar and battery power in the region; development worth as much as $12.7 billion.
Mr Joyce said existing proposals for renewables development were already generating backlash across the region, with opposition groups emerging in Ben Lomond, Nundle and Kentucky, among other towns.
He said the "legislation that would close down four coal fire power stations will result in 600,000 hectares of new wind farms".
"I don't want hundreds of thousands of further hectares of new wind farms."
Mr Marshall said the specific legislation Mr Joyce said he would lobby against would itself keep out the sort of "cowboys" and "tyre-kickers" that were causing community angst.
The state MP said Mr Joyce "clearly supports" "investment in renewables" "otherwise why did he announce Federal government pumped hydro scheme and why did he turn the first sod of soil to construct the largest wind farm in Australia near Glen Innes, if he doesn't support the sector."
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"If you want to have this argument about renewables as bad and you've got to have coal, it's a ridiculously banal and binary and prehistoric argument. It's not one or the other. We have both now and we're going to continue to have both for a very long time.
"The market will always continue to go for the cheapest source of energy. It will be the private sector not governments that decide when those coal fired power stations close their doors for the last time."
Mr Joyce told the Times that governments should look to upgrading the coal-fired Liddell power station to meet future power needs, instead of vast new renewables development.