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Monday, 3 December 2018
Page: 12208

Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (13:43): Central and North Queensland received the fantastic news last week that construction was commencing on the job-creating and economy-boosting Carmichael coal project. Work is starting in the Galilee Basin before Christmas. While the project has already seen hundreds of people employed across Queensland, it will need many more. Because the mine is so remote, communities like Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton will be a base for workers going to and from that mine. Bowen will get more rail and port jobs and Mackay will also be the service centre hub. What it means for local families is more jobs. There will be thousands of new jobs created by this project, with the construction of the mine and the rail link, the expansion of the port, and the flow-on effects through the economy.

The second thing this project will deliver is economic stability and security for Central and North Queensland. While mines have created booms in the past, it is the large number of operating mines, in conjunction with other industries, that maintains a stable economy. But not everyone is rejoicing at the prospect of more local jobs and a better local economy. A very small minority still can't accept their failure to stop this venture and will do anything they can to shut it down. There were six protestors gathered outside my office for another whinge to the TV cameras, because they know I support coal and I support jobs for locals. Unfortunately, they do have some support outside of Central and North Queensland. The usual suspects were joined by Labor's Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the Queensland Labor Premier in bagging and down-talking the project. The Labor Party no longer represents miners and mining in North Queensland. It is very sad— (Time expired)