FEBRUARY 18, 2016: I have called on Dawson Labor candidate Frank Gilbert to decide whether he supports the development of Adani’s Carmichael Coal Project which will create thousands of much-needed jobs in the region.
Mr Gilbert is telling people desperate for jobs that he supports Adani, but at the same time he’s attacking the project on social media.
Last night Mr Gilbert attended a Bowen Chamber of Commerce meeting where I was guest speaker, and he told that audience that he supported the Adani project.
But earlier this month on Facebook, Mr Gilbert posted a link to an article which attacked the Carmichael Coal Project and he himself commented that it was “ignorant and irresponsible” to back the fossil fuel industry.
Mr Gilbert’s Facebook post, which refers to the Adani project, read: “Backing the fossil fuel industry over our farmers, fishermen and tourism operators – is both ignorant and irresponsible.”
Mr Gilbert linked to an article entitled By George: The Nationals Need To Face Up To Climate Change, And Adani’s Grim Reality on the online left-wing blog NewMatilda.com
The article claimed that if Adani got its mining license it would “start digging up the Galilee Basin, and shipping coal through the Great Barrier Reef it will destroy”.
Mr Gilbert needs to explain how supporting the Carmichael Coal Project is “ignorant and irresponsible” and whether he believes the job-creating project will destroy the Great Barrier Reef as the article he promoted falsely claims it will.
With views such as those Mr Gilbert has shared on Facebook, the people of Mackay, Bowen, Burdekin and Townsville simply cannot trust Mr Gilbert to support the Carmichael coal project and the thousands of jobs it will create for us.
If Mr Gilbert wants to prove that despite his Facebook post, he supports the Carmichael Coal Project, he needs to tell Bill Shorten when he visits Mackay that Labor must back legislation to knock all green legal challenges against Adani on the head.
I challenge Mr Gilbert to publicly raise this matter with Mr Shorten and get a commitment on the record. Failure to do so will obviously mean that he stands by his anti-coal Facebook post.
Labor rank and file members are also questioning Mr Gilbert’s comments on Adani.
Labor stalwarts, former Mackay deputy mayor Don Rolls and current Mackay Regional councillor Theresa Morgan, have publicly criticised Mr Gilbert’s stance against the Carmichael Coal project on social media as well.
“Is Frank running for the Greens? He does not know the rank and file,” was the comment by Don Rolls on Mr Gilbert’s February 8 Facebook post.
Theresa Morgan responded “he is not interested in the rank and file – it’s his opinion or else!” and followed that with “the rank and file did not choose the candidate”.