Political confusion at Mackay event
LABOR candidate clears the air on coal and Labor no-show.
Wednesday 08 June 2016
A rumoured boycott of a Resource Industry Network mining event by the Labor party has been rejected by the local Labor candidate and the organisers of the event itself.
The Resource Industry Network is the peak body for the Bowen Basin mining support sector, and each month members get together to hear an industry update.
However, last week’s presentation by Stanmore Coal to around 60 business people was supported by presentations from LNP Member for Dawson George Christensen and Liberal Senator Matt Canavan, leading to some speculation that the non-attendance by labor representatives was a snub of the coal sector.
However, a spokesperson for RIN said it wasn’t a snub.
“It wasn’t that the state Labor members weren't invited to the event, it was just that they couldn’t make it because it is a sitting week,” she said.
“They all apologised for not being able to attend.
“Frank Gilbert the local labor candidate wasn’t invited because we only ask sitting members, because if we asked all candidates, the list would get very long.”
Speaking to Shift Miner at his office after the event, Mr Gilbert said he was surprised that there were rumours he had chosen not to attend the event.
He assured local business he was very much in favour of coal mining and the development of the Galilee Basin.
“I am a strong supporter of the coal industry in our region, it provides jobs for our region, it’s contributed to the wealth of the region over many decades, and for many decades it is going to be part of the energy mix,” he told Shift Miner.
“I am on the record as saying I fully support the Adani mine, I have had discussions with JJ the CEO of Adani on two occasions, they have invested a lot of money getting it this far, and they have my full support.”
Mr Gilbert also rejected assertions by the Queensland Resource Council last week that the leader of the Labor party Bill Shorten was against coal mining and the proposed Carmichael mine in the Galilee basin.
Saying that anti-coal comments made by Labor candidates were not representative of the parties broader view.
“I think one or two candidates in seats that we can’t win expressed a view like that,” he said.
“But that's not party-policy, nor is it the leader or the front benches opinion, and both have been here.
“ I have had Mr Shorten here who is committed to coal mining and the Adani mine, providing it meets all the environmental, financial and Labor standards for Australia.”
To hear the full-length interview about Frank Gilberts view on coal click here.