Capricorn Enterprise and the Capricornia Chamber of Commerce have sent a clear message to anti-coal protesters who arrive in Rockhampton today.
Former senator and long-time environmentalist Bob Brown is leading a convoy through Queensland protesting about Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine.
Capricorn Enterprise chief executive Mary Carroll said the benefits of coal needed to be highlighted to protesters.
“Our first-world lifestyle is not possible without coal (and) it is as simple as that,” Ms Carroll said.
“Employment in the mining industry in the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast region, at 6.5 per cent of the working population, is four times that of the national figure of 1.7 per cent.
“Across the broader Central Queensland footprint, 8.7 per cent of workers are employed in the mining sector, which is over five times that of the national figure, so the economic, social and community impacts of mining in Central Queensland are immense.”
Ms Carroll’s comments were echoed by Capricorn Enterprise’s regional economic development manager Neil Lethlean.
“The future of Queensland coal is dependent on government recognising the strategic asset that is encased within the Galilee coal basin,” Mr Lethlean said.
“We urge all and sundry to evaluate the intricate benefits that coal provides to the nation and, importantly, the central and north Queensland regions.
“Simply put (if there is) no coal (there is) no revenue from coal royalties to maintain health, education, security, emergency services, social amenities and transport.”
Meanwhile, Isaac Regional Council is calling for mutual respect ahead of the convoy’s expected arrival in Clermont this weekend.
“While the council is fundamentally opposed to the objectives of the Stop Adani convoy, we must also be a voice of reason and measure on behalf of our community,” Mayor Anne Baker said.
“The council will be bringing together representatives from all key stakeholders to ensure there is a clear expectation of mutual respect in our community.
“We have received assurances from both Bob Brown’s Stop Adani convoy and the Protest the Protesters event that their activities will be peaceful, lawful and respectful of differing viewpoints on this issue.
“We will absolutely not tolerate behaviour that is disruptive.”