Shorten Must Explain Why Labor Would Rob Central Qld Jobs and Growth

Labor’s Bill Shorten must today explain why his party wants to rob Central Queensland of 10,000 new jobs and future export growth, by failing to back Queensland’s biggest-ever coal and rail project.

That was the united call from Central Queensland’s Federal Liberal-National team after news that Labor refuses to fully support the Adani coal, rail and port project.

The Labor Party would rob Central Queensland of thousands of jobs if elected in the state on January 31, after doing a dodgy deal for Greens preferences, the MP’s and Senator warned.

“Labor will block development of the Galilee Basin coalfields by refusing to support necessary expansion of the Abbot Point port facilities and construction of the rail line,” the united Federal LNP team said.

“By contrast, the LNP support both these projects and the thousands of jobs they will produce.

“The choice is simple. The LNP support jobs in Central Queensland. Labor would destroy jobs in Central Queensland.”

At Labor's state election launch yesterday, Annastacia Palaszczuk said Labor would reneg on government funding for a new rail line from the Galilee Basin coal mines to ports along the coast and refused to support land-based dredging operations at Abbot Point.

Labor would also reduce export shipping trade in Queensland waters at a time when Central Queensland is desperate for jobs.

Michelle Landry (Federal Member for Capricornia), Ken O’Dowd (Federal Member for Flynn), George Christensen (Federal Member for Dawson) and Rockhampton-base Senator Matthew Canavan described Labor’s policy as a “hit in guts for Central Queensland and the entire State”.

“By failing to support this project, which would create thousands of jobs in Central Queensland, Labor is effectively putting up a ‘closed for business’ sign, which will have grave economic ramifications across the entire state,” Ms Landry said.

 “This is the most disloyal thing we have seen from Labor here, and Bill Shorten must explain why his party wants to rob Central Queensland families of new jobs, and Queensland of future export growth, that would have helped to build new hospitals, roads and schools.”

 Senator Canavan said that Labor would sacrifice country jobs for big city green votes.

“This clearly is the price the Labor Party has paid to ensure Greens preferences. While the Labor Party are content to jump into bed with extremist parties like the greens, they can’t represent the interests of Central Queensland,” Senator Canavan said

The Rockhampton-based Senator said Annastacia Palaszczuk gave in to demands from ‘environmental activists’ by promising them that, if elected, she would:

  • reneg on government funding for a new rail line from Galilee Basin coal mines to ports along the coast; and
  • refuse to support dredging operations at Abbot Point.

“Bill Shorten was sitting at the campaign launch, applauding Ms Palaszczuk’s announcement that she would destroy thousands of jobs in Central Queensland. Bill Shorten should explain to families throughout Central Queensland why he wants to destroy their livelihoods and destroy their hopes for a prosperous future.”

Senator Canavan said Labor’s capitulation was immediately welcomed by environmental activists opposed to all coal mining.

“For example, the Australian Marine Conservation Society issued a statement welcoming Labor’s promises, saying that ‘port expansion at Abbot Point is not needed’.

“The AMCS is exactly the sort of organisation that Labor is appealing to in this election: organisations that are anti-mining, anti-farming and anti-growth. The AMCS cares absolutely nothing about the future of families in places like Central Queensland and clearly Labor doesn’t either.”

The CQ-based LNP federal MPs called on federal Labor leader Bill Shorten to urgently explain why his party was shutting down a nationally-significant resource project.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the Galilee Basin was vital for future economic development and employment in the Tropical North and Central Queensland.

“It will give us jobs. Jobs and money will also go to communities elsewhere in Queensland and Australia as the flow-on benefits are felt throughout the rest of the country,” Mr Christensen said.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said Labor was wrecking the economy and Annastacia Palaszczuk and Bill Shorten should apologise to people in Central Queensland.

“If they are real leaders, they both must reverse their destructive policy and stop sending out signals to the international investor community that the alternative Labor State and Federal Governments would shut down mining development in Queensland, full stop. Their ideas are a load of rot.”

Ms Landry said: “Labor is unbelievable. When it comes to job losses, Central Queensland is bleeding like a shark bite! Yet, Labor will turn their backs on our region at a time when it is most vulnerable.

“Make no mistake. Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor are snuggled in bed with the Greens as tight as Bonnie and Clyde! Beware Queensland: Palaszczuk is a she-wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing.” 

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