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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Page: 13889

Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (13:50): I'd like to stand with and congratulate the CFMEU's Queensland Mining and Energy Division for calling out Labor on its anti-coal and anti-mining agenda. The Courier Mail, earlier this year, said it clearly:

OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has avoided committing Labor to supporting new thermal coal mines in Queensland.

I would like to congratulate the CFMEU on taking this stand, because year after year their support for Labor has been taken for granted and allowed Labor, at both state and federal levels, to be led by the nose by Greens anti-job activists into being against supporting the coal sector and coalmining.

I issued a statement yesterday that I would be keen to work with the CFMEU and its worker members, as I have a clear track record and position of support for coalmining and for mineworkers. I've stood up for the mining industry, not just for the multinational companies who run it but for the workers. I've stood up on the casualisation issue and changes that were before this parliament. I've stood up for workers impacted by ongoing lockouts.

Now, while there has been an ongoing alliance between the CFMEU and Labor in the past, I've always believed there is a role for National Party MPs to play in representing blue-collar regional workers, particularly coalminers. I note that on radio this morning the CFMEU leader, Stephen Smyth, while talking about Labor and their agenda, was also making negative comments about me. Old habits die hard! But, as I said, I extend the hand of friendship to the CFMEU: if you want to take on Labor for its anti-mining approach then I'm all ears. (Time expired)