COAL JOBS: Almost half of Mackay voters believe State Labor would side with the Greens over protecting their jobs. Picture: Macarthur Coal Ltd
COAL JOBS: Almost half of Mackay voters believe State Labor would side with the Greens over protecting their jobs. Picture: Macarthur Coal Ltd

74% believe killing coal jobs risks other jobs: survey

ALMOST half of Mackay voters surveyed in new OmniPoll research believe State Labor would side with the Greens over protecting their jobs.

The research also found 83 per cent of voters surveyed in the Mackay, Keppel and Thuringowa electorates believe coal jobs are important to the economy, while 74 per cent of

people agreed killing coal jobs puts other jobs at risk.

It also revealed 37 per cent of people in Mackay did not believe the current government was committed to protecting or creating jobs in regional Queensland.

New Hope Group, which has been waiting for the State Government to approve stage three of the New Acland Mine for the past 13 years, commissioned the research.

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New Acland stage three, is a shovel-ready project that would create 187 new jobs within the

first six months, 487 new jobs within 18 months and inject $7 billion into the

Queensland economy.

New Hope COO Andrew Boyd (left) and wash plant manager Andy Scouller call for New Acland stage three to be approved, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer
New Hope COO Andrew Boyd (left) and wash plant manager Andy Scouller call for New Acland stage three to be approved, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer

But the project has been tied up in the courts.

About 2000 people were surveyed as part of the poll, including 500 from Mackay.

New Hope chief operating officer Andrew Boyd said the research reinforced the

company’s view that these projects had strong community support.

“We have been telling the State Government for years that New Acland Stage 3 is an

important project for the future prosperity of the state,” Mr Boyd said.

“With many parts of regional Queensland struggling with unemployment and the

state facing a post COVID-19 economic disaster, there has never been a more

important time to approve Stage 3.

“Not only will the project retain and create jobs in regional Queensland, but it will

provide a much-needed economic boost for a state on its knees.

“It’s no surprise to us that the majority of hardworking people in regional

Queensland see coal jobs as important.”

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said the resources sector was the backbone of Queensland’s economy.

“Under the Labor Palaszczuk Government, 18 new coal mines have been approved in central Queensland in recent years and $20 billion invested in resources projects across Queensland which has created 7000 jobs, and creating more jobs is central to our economic recovery plan,” she said.

“Workers in the mining industry deserve support from all levels of government and I will continue to work towards ensuring they receive greater job security through permanency.”

It comes as Mrs Gilbert and Dawson MP George Christensen took their stoush over coal jobs to Facebook.

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert and Dawson MP George Christensen.
Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert and Dawson MP George Christensen.

Mr Christensen delivered the first blow, telling his social media followers the Mackay MP “doesn’t support local jobs”.

“Weeks out from an election, she’s saying she is pro-mining,” he wrote on Facebook.

“But in December 2018 she stood with green activists opposed to mining, shook their hands, took their petition and then told awaiting reporters her Labor government ‘most certainly listens to activists and that Adani could pack up and go home’.”

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But Mrs Gilbert returned fire, accusing the Dawson MP of spreading “desperate lies”.

“I did not ‘stand with Greens activists’ – they protested outside my office while I did a media interview,” she wrote on Facebook.

“During the interview, I was asked about a payment for Adani’s water licence and what I said was ‘they’re a commercial enterprise, they can either stump up in their name or pack up and go home’.”

Mrs Gilbert said she supported local coal mining jobs and recognised the importance of the sector to Mackay’s economy.


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