Peo­ple want Ab­bot Point

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

FED­ERAL Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen is claim­ing most Whit­sun­day res­i­dents sup­port the ex­pan­sion of Ab­bot Point – and he’s got the sta­tis­tics to back it up.

An in­de­pen­dent poll or­dered by the fed­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tive found 62% of res­i­dents in the Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil area be­lieve the project can be done while keep­ing the reef safe.

Mean­while, 29% said the project would harm the reef and 9% didn’t know.

“Ob­vi­ously there’s a noisy mi­nor­ity who be­lieve that cre­at­ing more and more noise about the ex­pan­sion of Ab­bot Point will make peo­ple think they’re the ma­jor­ity,” Mr Chris­tensen said.

“They’ve got ev­ery right to con­tinue to speak out against it, but they shouldn’t seek to style them­selves as the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple.”

Mr Chris­tensen said the tourism sec­tor, of­ten styled as op­po­nents of the project, were mostly in favour.

“I’ve spo­ken to many tourism sec­tor ac­com­mo­da­tion providers and they’re strong supporters of it go­ing ahead,” he said.

“Be­cause they re­alise that the peo­ple at­tracted to the re­gion for the jobs cre­ated and to work on that project will prob­a­bly hol­i­day lo­cally.”

When asked if vot­ers were putting job cre­ation ahead of the reef, Mr Chris­tensen said that wasn’t the case.

“I don’t have the de­tails of the other ques­tion about whether they’re putting jobs over the reef, but the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple said no to that,” he said.

“Peo­ple understand that reef is more im­por­tant than jobs, but they also understand that this project can go ahead with­out harm­ing the reef.”

POS­I­TIVE PROJECT: Fed­eral Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen on-site at Ab­bot Point.

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