40 years of NQ jobs held hostage to Victorian green votes
ADANI-KICKING politicians and greens are putting the next 40 years of Queensland jobs in jeopardy, Mackay region Mayor Greg Williamson has said.
Criticism of the project this week from the Labor Party was jeopardising investment in the Galilee Basin, as companies eyed Adani as an example of how difficult it can be to do business in Australia, he said.
Continued "hijacking" of the discussion about Adani was blanketing the real issue, which was the opening up of the Galilee Basin, Cr Williamson said.
And importantly, the 495km railway line from Abbot Point to the Galilee Basin, the coal reserve where there are nine proposed 'mega' mines, including Adani's, would never be built.
North Queensland stands to lose thousands of future jobs at the expense of inner-city votes in southern states, he said.
Widening the north-south divide, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten have this week both criticised the Indian mining giant for missed deadlines and failing to create jobs.
Cr Williamson said this was to win votes in the Federal Batman by-election in Melbourne as the Greens were gaining momentum there.
Comments from party leaders brought scorn from failed ALP candidate for Burdekin Mike Brunker, who said the Labor position on Adani would result in the party further losing its grip in North Queensland.
Adani has spent $3.3billion in Australia over seven years, and currently employs 800 people, but still has not broken dirt at its Carmichael Mine site.
Resource Industry Network director Mick Crowe didn't understand why politicians, who had previously supported Adani, were now throwing rocks at it.
"I struggle to understand how a nation that benefits so much from mining can seem to be going so far out of its way to stop companies spending its money giving people jobs and willing to spend more money creating Australian jobs," he said.
Responding to criticism for his cooled stance on Adani, Mr Shorten said job creation was his number one priority for regional Queenslanders and he had learnt what the communities regarded as their priorities after having listened to thousands of people at 16 public town hall meetings.
"I'm working on a major jobs plan for regional Queensland - jobs for Gladstone, Townsville, Mackay, Rocky and Cairns."
They would be long-term, secure jobs he said.