A lively war of words has erupted between radio shock-jock Alan Jones and Queensland’s mining sector with the resources council accusing Jones of endangering thousands of jobs in the state.
Jones launched a vigorous attack on Campbell Newman and his track record in mining on air yesterday describing the Premier as a bully and that he “couldn’t back the Premier to win a chook raffle”.
Jones, who was raised in the Toowoomba area, said Newman told him in 2012 that there would be no stage three of the Acland coal mine on the Darling Downs.
“What’s happened on the Darling Downs under this government is a disgrace,” Jones said
“He’s first best friends with the mining giants who are plundering this state and not improving our bottom line.
“Our debt is worse than it was when Newman came into government – and our agricultural land is being squandered and he’s done nothing about the debt he said he would address,” Jones added
A statement released by the Queensland Resources Council yesterday afternoon retaliated by claiming that, “New South Wales broadcaster Alan Jones is undermining Queensland jobs after his denigrating comments about the minerals and energy sector during his extraordinary performance on Fairfax radio this morning.”
“Mr Jones may find it convenient to broadcast his negative comments from his Sydney Harbour-side studio rather than actually venture north, however the 442,000 hardworking Queenslanders who rely on our sector probably do not agree with his ramblings,” the statement said.
“Our sector is vital to the state’s economic future, worth $78 billion, and responsible for generating one in every four dollars of the Queensland economy and one in every five jobs.”
“If Mr Jones is such a proud Queenslander, then he should be supporting one of the main pillars of the state’s economy.”
“Instead he spouts anti-development messages, undermining Queensland jobs and livelihoods.”
“Mr Jones claims great affinity with the great Darling Downs region. He might therefore take note that the mining and gas sectors account for one in every five jobs in the Downs region and last year purchased $2.3 billion worth of goods and services from over 1,000 local businesses.”
“The Downs has changed for the better since Mr Jones called the region home. The resources sector has brought thousands of jobs for locals, new community infrastructure and a new income source for thousands of farming families. Communities that were in long-term decline are thriving.”