THE plight of jobseekers in Mackay, Rockhampton, Bowen and throughout Central and North Queensland took centre stage during Question Time in Parliament House today, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott outlined the government's intention to act in the interest of jobs, and curtail extreme green court action aimed at destroying the coal industry.
Both Dawson MP George Christensen and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry posed questions about the Carmichael mine to Mr Abbott and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss respectively.
Ms Landry also gave an impassioned speech about the need for the Carmichael mine jobs during the debate after Question Time.
During Question Time, Mr Christensen asked the Prime Minister "how is the government acting to protect jobs against extreme green lawfare (ie legal warfare) whilst ensuring the highest environmental standards are maintained?"
Mr Abbott said the government would be backing workers and jobs by ensuring extreme green groups not directly affected by job-creating projects such as the Carmichael mine are not able to challenge project approvals in the courts.
"This mine is being legally sabotaged by green activists running a strategic campaign against the coal industry and in fact against all large development," Mr Abbott said.
"So I can inform you… that this government will repeal Section 487.2 of the EPBC Act which gives activists the standing to sabotage decisions."
Mr Christensen welcomed the announcement.
"This Government has recognised the seriousness of this issue of extreme green groups holding massive job-creating projects to ransom with their relentless legal wrangling, and they're prepared to do something about it," Mr Christensen said.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry asked the Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss how 'lawfare' by the extreme greens was harming jobs growth in Central Queensland.
Mr Truss warned that the Greens were putting national growth at risk.
"We need to find ways to smooth the approvals process so that we can get jobs being created again in Central Queensland, building projects that will deliver for our nation in the long term," Mr Truss said.
Ms Landry said Labor needed to get on board with supporting the government in its push for Carmichael mine jobs to not be held up by extreme green court action.
"Today Bill Shorten's Labor Party has accused the Government of failing to properly invest in Australian jobs and well-planned infrastructure. What a load of hypocrisy," Ms Landry said.
"You might be forgiven for thinking that Labor and the Greens are the same party. There is no point of difference when it comes to destroying jobs in Central Queensland. They are both guilty."
Mr Christensen echoed Ms Landry's comments, saying the "extreme green rot has to stop".
"Regardless of what justifications they seek to mount, groups like Mackay Conservation Group and the Environmental Defender's Office should have no right or authority to challenge projects which have the potential to totally transform the economic picture in our region," Mr Christensen said.
"The $16.5 billion Adani coal project will provide 10,000 direct and indirect jobs which are so desperately needed, as well as providing businesses with a huge economic boost."
Ms Landry said the greens had thrown a hand grenade at the Adani project and, by their silence, it seemed Labor was in bed with them as they sabotaged the Adani project.
"They are trying to stop progress on a $21 billion job-creating infrastructure," Ms Landry said.
This article is a press release issued jointly by the offices of MP George Christensen and MP Michelle Landry
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