LNP is fu­ri­ous at Last place

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JOHN AN­DER­SEN john.an­der­sen@news.com.au

BUR­DEKIN MP Dale Last has ac­cused One Na­tion’s Sam Cox of sell­ing out farm­ers by putting La­bor ahead of the LNP at the Novem­ber 25 state poll.

Mr Last said he was “shocked” that Mr Cox would pref­er­ence La­bor over the LNP, which would be placed sec­ond- last – one rung above the Greens – on One Na­tion’s how- to- vote card.

Mr Last said by ask­ing vot­ers to put La­bor ahead of the LNP, Mr Cox was mak­ing “a clear state­ment” he was against coal- fired baseload power sta­tions.

He said it showed Mr Cox was op­posed to the Adani coal mine and that he was in favour of La­bor’s pro­posed re­stric­tive veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment laws.

He said it also showed Mr Cox was sym­pa­thetic to La­bor’s plan to re­peal the sugar mar­ket­ing leg­is­la­tion, which gives farm­ers the right to choose how their sugar is sold.

Mr Cox said Mr Last was a Lib­eral and that the Na­tional Party com­po­nent of the LNP had been “left be­hind and for­got­ten”.

“He is say­ing I’m ‘ La­bor lite’, but that’s not true,” Mr Cox said. “Mr Last should go and ask sug­ar­cane farm­ers who was re­spon­si­ble for the sugar in­dus­try code of con­duct. It wasn’t the Lib­er­als.

“And it was Pauline Hanson who played a ma­jor role in the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s sup­port this year for a sugar in­dus­try manda­tory code of con­duct.”

He said peo­ple knew One Na­tion stood for agri­cul­ture and min­ing.

He said Mr Last was a Lib­eral in ide­ol­ogy and was not a Na­tional Party sup­porter.

“Dale Last knows his party is run by the Bris­bane Lib­er­als. The Na­tional Party is gone. He is Lib­eral,” Mr Cox said.

He said the LNP would pri­va­tise a base- load power sta­tion, which would drive elec­tric­ity costs to even higher lev­els.

“One Na­tion will keep a base- load power sta­tion in gov­ern­ment hands so that prices can be kept down,” Mr Cox said.

La­bor can­di­date Mike Brunker said the race for Bur­dekin was “tight” and that there was “not a lot of day­light” be­tween the can­di­dates.

“I’m about neck and neck with Dale Last, but it’s all very close,” he said.

Mr Brunker said he had “taken a hit” when Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk an­nounced her gov­ern­ment would veto a Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment con­ces­sional loan to Adani of $ 1 bil­lion un­der the North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­ity.

He said he felt the “dust had set­tled” on the is­sue and that peo­ple knew the Adani coal min­ing project was pro­ceed­ing “full steam ahead”.

“I think peo­ple re­alise it’s a fed­eral loan any­way and that the state doesn’t have a lot to do with it,” he said.

Mr Last was cam­paign­ing in the Galilee Basin coal towns this week. He said he had cam­paigned at the Mo­ran­bah pre- polling booth yes­ter­day and that he had “door­knocked ev­ery house” in Bur­dekin’s south­ern­most town, Mid­dle­mount, at the week­end.

“The re­sponse is good. Peo­ple are ap­pre­ci­at­ing the fact that I’m out there do­ing my job,” he said.

Mr Cox said he ex­pected Bur­dekin to be one of the most closely con­tested seats in the state.

“I’d be very sur­prised if they an­nounced a win­ner on polling night,” he said.

The Greens can­di­date for Bur­dekin Matthew Bing did not re­spond when in­vited to com­ment yes­ter­day.

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