Senator hits back at black lung claim
ONE Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has accused a Queensland union of scaremongering after being targeted in a mass advertising campaign about black lung disease.
In a full- page advertisement in yesterday’s Bulletin, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union of Queensland claimed that “Senator Malcolm Roberts is blaming coal mine workers for getting Black Lung Disease”.
The advertisement questioned what One Nation stood for if it was choosing to “support massive corporations”.
It comes after the Greens tried to move an anti- Adani Bill in Parliament in June.
In his response to the Bill, Mr Roberts spoke about the disease, saying “the answer to black lung is the regulations in Queensland not being enforced”. He also said that “the CFMEU is not doing its job, some coal operators ( are) not fulfilling their responsibilities”.
Speaking to the Bulletin yesterday, Senator Roberts said he was concerned that the CFMEU was spreading lies.
“They’re scared of One Nation,” he said.
“We’re making inroads into the voting base in Queensland. What you see is when they tell lies, it’s a form of control.”
Senator Roberts said his own grandfather had died of black lung disease.
“My father worked in various countries and built a career in Australia, was a very effective manager of coal mines and became chief inspector for coal mines in Queensland,” he said.
“He wrote regulations for ventilated coal mines which is key to countering black lung.”
CFMEU Queensland District president Stephen Smyth yesterday said the union was not “playing politics”.
“We’re calling him out on what he said,” Mr Smyth said.
“He’s blaming the CFMEU for the return of black lung.”