Labor needs to stand with North Queensland workers

Labor needs to stand with North Queensland workers

APRIL 4, 2016: JOBS and a vital boost to this region’s economy are still under threat from frivolous extreme green legal challenges and the only way to end them once and for all is through legislation in the federal parliament.

The Adani Carmichael Coal Project is by no means certain while the extreme green legal challenges remain in the courts despite yesterday’s mining lease approval.

I’m calling on my Labor opponent to join me in the fight for local jobs by backing legislative action to end those green legal challenges.

There are two extreme green legal challenges in the courts and a third is waiting in the wings.

Even after a determination, the extreme green litigants have appeal rights which means the court cases could drag on for two years or more.

And while technically Adani could start work before these court cases are ended, all it would take is for the extreme green litigants to successfully seek an injunction in court and all work would have to be stopped.

Adani can’t wait around for another two years; they’ve got to get going next year at the latest.

Thousands of jobs for workers and a vital boost to the regional economy are at stake.

Come hell or high water, I am going to ensure legislation is brought before federal parliament to end those court challenges once and for all so that this project can get going either this year or, at the very latest, at the beginning of next year and I challenge my Labor opponent to commit to doing the same thing.

My Labor opponent needs to prove who’s side he is on, because he’s already called me “ignorant and irresponsible” for supporting the Carmichael mine and Abbot Point expansion and all the jobs this will create.

My Labor opponent in the seat of Dawson, Frank Gilbert, posted a comment to Facebook in February which criticised me for supporting Adani saying “Backing the fossil fuel industry over our farmers, fishermen and tourism operators – is both ignorant and irresponsible”.

Labor has already declared it would join with the Greens in the Senate to reject legislation that sought to restrict green groups from being able to hold up job-creating developments in the courts.

If Labor wanted to stand with North Queensland workers and struggling North Queensland businesses against the Greens, then they should back legislation which ends the extreme green court cases against Adani.

If Labor wants to stand with the extreme greens, then they will be allowing those frivolous court challenges to linger on and hold up this project and the thousands of jobs it will create.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to do what I’ve always done, and fight for local jobs.


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