Labor blasted for opposing power station feasibility study
FEDERAL Labor is being accused of killing off new job opportunities for regional Queenslanders and doing the Greens' bidding by blocking the Coalition's efforts to investigate a possible new power station for Central Queensland.
Queensland's National Party members of parliament banded together to decry Labor's lack of support for their efforts to deliver on a 2019 election commitment to fund a feasibility study examining the viability of building a High Efficiency Low Emissions coal-fired power station at Collinsville.
Among those attacking Labor were the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, Dawson MP George Christensen, Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd and Herbert MP Phillip Thompson.
Speaking at the Rocky Sports club on Wednesday morning Ms Landry said the Labor Party had shown its true colours throughout the Shine Energy feasibility study's approval process.
"Yesterday, we saw that Labor tried to abolish the feasibility study once again for the Collinsville coal-fired power station - the $3.3 million that was committed," Ms Landry said.
"They tried to do it in the Senate a couple of months ago and yesterday Labor brought up the motion again.
"It was squashed but you can't tell me that Labor supports the coal sector. It is absolute nonsense."
She said the LNP was the only party that supported coal - certainly not Queensland Labor.
"Labor's anti-coal dogma has been on full display for all Queenslanders to see," Ms Landry said.
"For all of their bluster and the borrowed hi-vis in their wardrobes, Labor continue to vote against jobs in the resources industry, against coal and against lower power prices for regional Queensland.
"If they aren't going slow on approving mining projects like New Acland, they are actively opposing new coal projects in Queensland. There now can be no doubt that Labor has abandoned all mining and resources workers in Australia."
Minister Pitt said this "unholy Labor/Greens alliance" in the parliament showed they still hadn't learnt the lessons from last year's federal election.
"Their attempt to block the proposal shows how much Labor and Greens hold regional Queenslanders and the mining sector in contempt when it comes to providing new job and economic opportunities," Mr Pitt said.
"In the lead up to the 2019 election, the Coalition promised to commit funding to a feasibility study into a possible new coal-fired power station at Collinsville and we are simply trying to fulfil that commitment.
"Labor's blind adherence to the Greens ideology at both state and federal levels will destroy job and economic opportunities throughout Queensland."
Mr Christensen said common sense prevailed in the parliament and the Labor-Green attempt to stop the study failed.
"The challenge to the feasibility study has again demonstrated the danger Labor poses to regional Queenslanders." Mr Christensen said.
"This is a preview of what's in store if a Palaszczuk/Greens Government is elected in Queensland this weekend."
Mr O'Dowd said only the LNP could be trusted to support regional Queensland and resources jobs.
"You can't trust what Labor say, look instead at what they do," Mr O'Dowd said.
"At every opportunity Labor and the Greens conspire to destroy resources jobs and regional communities."
Mr Thompson says anyone working in resources sector should be concerned by Labor's latest ploy.
"Thousands of regional Queenslanders make a great contribution to our state working in the resources sector and that should be acknowledged," Mr Thompson said.
"Labor has again confirmed today that in their opinion, if you work in the mining sector, you don't matter."
Labor responds on feasibility study issue
Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt said Federal Labor supported real jobs in the resources industry, not make-believe projects like the one planned for Collinsville.
"Even the Federal Liberals say the Collinsville project 'will never proceed', and Deb Frecklington and her State LNP team have said they oppose public funding for the project," Senator Watt said.
"If Mr Pitt and his colleagues can't convince their state counterparts, why would anyone else believe them?
"Shine Energy say their project will lead to the early closure of the Gladstone Power Station, costing hundreds of jobs. Don't these jobs, and those in other CQ power stations, matter to the LNP?"
Senator Watt said the LNP was just desperate to distract from its unprecedented decision to preference the Greens in every Queensland seat.
"This decision risks electing even more Greens to the Queensland Parliament," he said.
"If the LNP actually cared about coal miners, they would pull out of their expensive High Court case, which will allow the big mining companies to keep employing permanent coal miners as casuals.
"The LNP's record shows they always back mining bosses, not mining workers."