Chris­tensen con­demned for speech about ‘eco-ter­ror­ists’

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

FED­ERAL MP George Chris­tensen has again come un­der the spot­light for his com­ments about en­vi­ron­men­tal groups.

In a speech to the Par­lia­ment last week, Mr Chris­tensen de­scribed those who con­tin­ued to op­pose the Ab­bot Point ex­pan­sion, de­spite win­ning the off­shore dredge dump­ing war, as “gut­less green grubs” and “eco-ter­ror­ists”.

“The great­est ter­ror­ist threat in North Queens­land it’s sad to say, comes from the ex­treme green move­ment and when I say ex­treme greens I’m not talk­ing about or­di­nary com­mu­nity groups or in­di­vid­u­als who gen­uinely care about and work to im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment, or the lo­cals who have gen­uine con­cerns about the im­pacts of cer­tain projects – what I’m talk­ing about is the large, well­funded, well-or­gan­ised, eco-ter­ror­ists, who use fear and black­mail to co­erce the gov­ern­ment and the pub­lic into adopt­ing their ex­treme po­lit­i­cal and ide­o­log­i­cal view­points,” he said on Septem­ber 24.

“To­day I put the ex­treme greens on no­tice – North Queens­land will not bow down to th­ese eco-ter­ror­ists.”

Since mak­ing this speech, the Aus­tralian Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety (AMCS) has called on Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott to dis­ci­pline the MP and the Se­nate has passed a Greens’ mo­tion call­ing on him to with­draw his com­ments.

Greens Se­na­tor Larissa Wa­ters said Mr Chris­tensen was be­ing “in­cred­i­bly in­sult­ing” to ev­ery­one who cared about the Great Bar­rier Reef, in­clud­ing peo­ple in the fish­ing and tourism in­dus­tries who re­lied on it for their liveli­hood.

“Mr Chris­tensen is re­fer­ring to peo­ple who op­pose the in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of the Great Bar­rier Reef as ter­ror­ists and in the cur­rent cli­mate that is ut­terly un­ac­cept­able, wrong and in­cred­i­bly dan­ger­ous and ir­re­spon­si­ble,” she said.

AMCS cam­paign di­rec­tor Felic­ity Wishart, said Mr Chris­tensen’s com­ments were deeply disturbing and to­tally un­ac­cept­able at any time, but more so given Aus­tralia’s height­ened se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment.

“The Prime Min­is­ter has been urg­ing all Aus­tralians to re­main calm in the face of in­creased ter­ror­ism threats. He needs to en­sure his own MPs do not con­trib­ute to an en­vi­ron­ment of fear and ag­gres­sion,” she said.

“Mr Chris­tensen has made his com­mit­ment to the Ab­bot Point coal port ex­pan­sion well known. In a democ­racy ev­ery­one has a right to ex­press their views.”

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