A politician who is advocating for a $21 billion coal project has thanked mine workers and their families for helping him return to power and keep fighting for the industry.
Federal Minister for Resources Senator Matt Canavan praised the “hi-vis revolution” across Queensland’s central and northern regions for defeating the opposing Labor Party, which hesitated to state its position on approving Adani Australia’s Carmichael Coal Project.
At the May 18 federal election Labor suffered major losses at marginal seats across the Sunshine State, the most noteworthy was incumbent Townsville Member for Herbert Cathy O’Toole who lost to Liberal hopeful Phillip Thompson. Labor is also on-track to miss out on the marginal seats of Dawson, Capricornia and Leichhardt on the state’s north and central coasts.
Canavan said Adani’s proposed coal mine was with “no doubt” the biggest issue facing voters who were upset with the ruling Labor State Government for taking too long to approve the project.
“They’ve been sitting on this for eight years,” he told the Australian Associated Press (AAP). “It’s a high-vis revolution. For too long, despite the fact miners wear the brightest shirts of anyone, they’ve been invisible to the Australian Labor Party.”
Perhaps the most controversial event leading up the election was former Greens leader Bob Brown’s anti-Adani convoy, which attracted strong opposition from locals when the convoy passed through mining towns in Central Queensland.
“Can you believe Bob Brown? Not content with his followers calling Queenslanders rednecks and Nazis, he now says that we are ‘greedy’ and we didn’t vote for ‘morality,'” Canavan said on social media. “Keep it up Bob, you’re hardly winning friends and influencing people.”
“It didn’t just galvanise the people of central and north Queensland, it galvanised the people of Queensland. They don’t take kindly to a blow-in trying to lecture people, rather than listen to them,” he added, promising to send Brown a Christmas card later this year.
Brown defended the anti-Adani convoy saying the swing against Labor was national and not just limited to Queensland.
“The convoy was a great success and it’s part of awakening people to climate change,” he told AAP. “People went for the money. It just shows that dollars will defeat morality at the ballot box.”