In­dus­try over­looked

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

IN A let­ter to the me­dia last week, MP for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen said he was tak­ing a del­e­ga­tion to Can­berra to lobby the new En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter, Greg Hunt, on the need for the ex­pan­sion of Ab­bot Point.

He said such a trip was nec­es­sary to “re­fute the rav­ings of the ill in­formed and the ex­trem­ist Green move­ment.”

For a Fed­eral MP to ridicule, slan­der, and dis­par­age peo­ple who are try­ing to ex­press their views about the Ab­bot Point ex­pan­sion is ex­trem­ist and very dis­re­spect­ful.

Ge­orge Chris­tensen also goes on to say "The new Lib­eral Na­tional gov­ern­ment will not sell out Bowen to mi­nor­ity in­ter­est groups".

The ma­jor­ity of con­cern raised over Ab­bot Point ex­pan­sion has come from the lo­cal tourism and fish­ing in­dus­tries. To be­lit­tle in­dus­tries that cre­ate thou­sands of lo­cal jobs and in­ject mil­lions of dol­lars into the lo­cal econ­omy is a bold move but is not how we ex­pect our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive to be­have. We want long-term sus­tain­abil­ity. We want to be as­sured through sci­en­tific facts and longterm stud­ies that our great­est nat­u­ral re­source - the reef, is pro­tected.

The ma­jor­ity of the tourism op­er­a­tors and com­mer­cial fish­er­man that Ge­orge Chris­tensen has con­sulted with are con­cerned about the im­pacts of dredge spoil on their fish­ing grounds and reef.

To com­pletely over­look our in­dus­try con­cerns and mis­rep­re­sent ma­jor­ity groups is a huge short­com­ing for a Fed­eral MP. Tony Fontes AIR­LIE BEACH

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