Mine union pres­sure on La­bor


One of La­bor’s big­gest donors has ramped up pres­sure for the pro­posed ex­pan­sion of the New Acland coal mine to be ap­proved in the face of the Palaszczuk govern­ment’s de­lays on the project.

The Con­struc­tion Forestry Min­ing and En­ergy Union has weighed in on the Queens­land elec­tion cam­paign over the pro­posed $900 mil­lion ex­pan­sion of the Dar­ling Downs mine, which La­bor has de­layed ap­prov­ing as it awaits a ju­di­cial re­view of a non­bind­ing Land Court de­ci­sion this year that blocked the plan.

For­mer nat­u­ral re­sources min­is­ter and cur­rent Toowoomba North can­di­date Kerry Shine has also called for the ex­pan­sion to be ap­proved, de­spite Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk say­ing she would abide by the ju­di­cial re­view.

The CFMEU has funded a statewide cam­paign in sup­port of the ex­pan­sion and at­tacked One Na­tion’s op­po­si­tion to the plans that New Hope, owner of the mine, says will save the jobs of 780 em­ploy­ees and con­trac­tors.

A robo­call fea­tur­ing the voice of CFMEU rep­re­sen­ta­tive and New Acland mine worker Michael Hartin asks vot­ers not to vote for One Na­tion.

“What I have to say is pretty sim­ple: One Na­tion are op­pos­ing the ex­pan­sion of the New Acland coal mine, op­pos­ing jobs for Queens­land coal min­ers,” Mr Hartin says in the call.

“You may think I’m jok­ing or got it wrong — trust me it’s true. That means my job and the jobs of 700 oth­ers will go.

“It means towns will close, com­mu­ni­ties will be de­stroyed.

“So please, do not vote for One Na­tion, do not vote for a party that is op­posed to more jobs for Queens­land coalmin­ers.”

The pro­posed ex­pan­sion was dealt a blow this year by the Land Court’s non-bind­ing de­ci­sion against it be­cause of con­cerns about ef­fects on wa­ter sup­ply.

New Hope has warned its mine could close if the ex­pan­sion — worth more than $8 bil­lion to the econ­omy — does not go ahead.

Ms Palaszczuk and Lib­eral Na- tional Party leader Tim Ni­cholls have both in­di­cated they will wait on the re­view, due in March.

New Hope’s own polling shows more than 70 per cent of vot­ers across sev­eral elec­torates, in­clud­ing Con­damine where the mine is lo­cated, are in favour of ex­pan­sion.

Mr Hartin yes­ter­day said One Na­tion’s stance was a “vote-grab­bing ex­er­cise” to gen­er­ate head­lines on the back of a vo­cal cam­paign from Syd­ney broad­caster Alan Jones against it.

“We’ve had One Na­tion come out with Steve Dick­son and say they are fully against the mine,” he said. “Polling re­sults show that a ma­jor­ity of One Na­tion vot­ers are in favour of the mine, in our area. They are con­cerned about job losses in our com­mu­nity.”

Mr Hartin said for­mer One Na­tion sen­a­tor turned Ip­swich can­di­date Mal­colm Roberts’s call for a new coal mine near Ip­swich was hyp­o­crit­i­cal.

Mr Shine, a for­mer Beat­tie govern­ment min­is­ter, is run­ning for the seat of Toowoomba North, where about 400 mine work­ers live. He has writ­ten to Ms Palaszczuk and Mines Min­is­ter An­thony Lyn­ham ask­ing them to sup­port ex­pan­sion. “It’s been a great job-cre­at­ing project for Toowoomba and Oakey,” he said.

LNP mem­ber for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts said he sup­ported the ex­pan­sion.

‘Do not vote for One Na­tion, do not vote for a party op­posed to more jobs for coalmin­ers’ MICHAEL HARTIN CFMEU REP AND MINER

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