Bush needs to find its voice

Stand up to whingers or jobs will go

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - OPINION PETER GLEESON - Gleeso’s News Talk airs week­nights at 5pm (6pm AEDT) on Sky News Live and Sky News on WIN. Peter Glee­son

NOT that long ago, there was a restau­rant in Townsville that rightly claimed the ti­tle as the city’s best and busiest.

On any given day, es­pe­cially to­wards the end of the week, you could go there and the place would be packed.

Lawyers, ac­coun­tants, de­vel­op­ers, star foot­ballers … but their bread and but­ter clien­tele was nor­mal folk just want­ing a nice feed and good com­pany. Not any­more.

Michel’s, as it is known, has closed its doors, with the own­ers de­cid­ing to con­cen­trate on the cater­ing arm of the busi­ness.

What­ever the rea­son, the bot­tom line is an­other restau­rant has closed in Townsville, adding to the many busi­nesses that have closed their doors in North Queens­land.

And this is not a phe­nom­e­non that is purely a North Queens­land prob­lem.

Through­out Aus­tralia’s re­gional and coun­try towns small busi­nesses are clos­ing their doors. The lo­cal Chi­nese restau­rant is the rare ex­cep­tion. They could seem­ingly sur­vive a me­te­orite strike.

It is a sad in­dict­ment on our po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion-mak­ers that re­gional and coun­try towns are suf­fer­ing dou­ble-digit un­em­ploy­ment rates. Te­nancy va­can­cies are rife in smaller towns as busi­nesses strug­gle to make ends meet.

That’s why job cre­ation and in­no­va­tion are so im­por­tant.

That’s why big job-cre­ation projects like the Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin must pro­ceed, de­spite the luke­warm re­cep­tion it is­get­ting from the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment.

Adani has taken out bill­boards in Bris­bane, say­ing it’s ready when the gov­ern­ment is ready.

The lat­est set­back re­lates to the re-set­tle­ment plan for the black-throated finch.

Adani has over­come more than 100 le­gal and en­vi­ron­men­tal hur­dles since start­ing the pro­ject in 2010.

Yet anti-Adani pro­test­ers –



many of them from in­ner city elec­torates – con­tinue their cam­paign to de­rail the pro­ject.

Adani has be­come the totemic pro­ject for the Green move­ment.

The prob­lem, of course, is these in­ner city elites – many of them with $100,000-a-year jobs – are try­ing to stop their fel­low Aus­tralians in coun­try ar­eas from get­ting work. What ar­ro­gance. What disin­gen­u­ous rub­bish.

It’s time bush folk cre­ated their very own pro-jobs move­ment. Imag­ine if farm­ers and min­ers started wav­ing plac­ards at ev­ery press con­fer­ence, imploring Aus­tralians to “stop serv­ing soy lat­tes to whingers”.

The loony Left has way too much time on its hands. When it’s fir­ing, re­gional Aus­tralia is an eco­nomic pow­er­house.

It has been neutered in re­cent years by politi­cians – many from the Na­tional Party – who have sold them down the gur­gler for their 30 pieces of sil­ver.

Re­gional Aus­tralia needs to find its voice. That’s why Pauline Han­son and Bob Kat­ter res­onate so well in the bush.

Peo­ple see them as fair dinkum, not part of the Can­berra bub­ble.

That’s why Don­ald Trump won the Amer­i­can pres­i­dency.

He of­fered hope as a non­politi­cian, promis­ing he’d hon­our his elec­tion pledges, even if the wall is caus­ing him grief right now.

If Scott Mor­ri­son can re-en­gi­neer a re­nais­sance in the bush, he will may save some of the fur­ni­ture head­ing into the next elec­tion.


’DISIN­GEN­U­OUS RUB­BISH’: Anti-Adani coal mine pro­test­ers en­gage in a sit-in protest out­side the Queens­land Par­lia­ment in Bris­bane late last year.

Photo: AAP/Birdlife Aus­tralia

A south­ern black-throated finch.

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