Coal community sends clear message to candidates

“If they don’t back us, we can’t back them,” was the message to politicians from the Go Galilee Basin rally this weekend.

A crowd of about 250 people joined the event in Mackay’s CBD.

Event organiser Resource Industry Network (RIN) released the names of those election candidates who answered ‘yes’ on the question of whether or not they support companies developing new thermal and metallurgical coal mines in Australia.

“If they (politicians) don’t back us, we can’t back them. It’s as simple as that,” RIN director Mick Crowe said.

“If we can’t build coal mines, we won’t have the region as it is today, and that’s not a small thing.

“What we want to be able to do is give the cleanest power in the world to the people who need it, in a way they can afford it.

“This isn’t good versus evil, or who’s right and who’s wrong. This is just about getting a rational debate, getting a voice, and a balanced democracy.

“We love the environment, I mean look around you, who would want to mess this up? This is a fantastic place to live and we’re here to defend that as well.”

Those who supported new coal mines in the RIN questionnaire included Dawson candidate George Christensen (LNP), Belinda Hassan (Labor), Colin Thompson (UAP), Brendan Bunyan (KAP), as well as Capricornia candidates Michelle Landry (LNP), Russell Robertson (Labor), and Lindsay Sturgeon (UAP).

“We’ve been seeking answers on multiple questions involving the Galilee Basin and associated infrastructure in recent weeks to ensure the voting community in this region are informed voters,” RIN general manager Adrienne Rourke said.

“While it’s great to see those who responded were in support developing the Galilee Basin, we are still calling on everyone to challenge anti-mining commentary and ensure the debate is based on facts.”

The rally crowd heard from speakers including local business owner and mum Emma Price, RACQ CQRescue chief executive officer Ian Rowan, Greenshirts leader Marty Bella, and Mackay Mayor Cr Greg Williamson.

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