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O'Toole shows Labor doesn't support Adani jobs for N.Q.

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SENATOR THE HON MATT CANAVAN Minister for Resources and Northern Australia



14 September 2018

Townsville-based federal Labor MP Cathy O’Toole has been criticised for refusing to back the Adani coal project, expected to provide thousands of jobs in North Queensland.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said today that Ms O’Toole’s refusal to speak in support of the Adani project showed she was reflecting Labor party opposition to coal mining.

“Ms O’Toole isn’t a North Queensland voice in the south, she’s the south’s voice in North Queensland,” Minister Canavan said.

Minister Canavan was commenting after Ms O’Toole - asked for comment about Adani’s revised plan for a shorter, less-expensive rail line to take coal from the planned mine in the Galilee Basin to the port of Abbot Point - told media “I won’t comment on this issue”.

“Cathy ‘No Comment’ O’Toole is paid way too well to have no opinion on issues that matter to her constituency,” Minister Canavan said.

“In this instance, she might think staying silent about recent developments with Adani’s Carmichael Mine is politically clever - but in fact her refusal to comment on the project’s progress actually speaks volumes.

“She knows the prospect of thousands of jobs for North and Central Queensland is a good thing. She also knows the export earnings the Carmichael Mine Project will bring into Queensland are a good thing.

“But she won’t say a word, let alone stand up for the families and workers of North Queensland, because her personal political fortunes rely on preferences from the radical Greens.

“She’s actually more interested in her own job and prosperity than those of the families she is meant to represent.

“It’s a sad day when a Labor MP walks away from the blue-collar base they once claimed to represent, especially when there are thousands of new jobs on offer in regional Queensland, and right in her own backyard.

“Ms O’Toole should have the guts to either publicly back her fellow Queenslanders, or back her own self-interest, not squib the whole thing entirely.”

Minister Canavan said he welcomed Adani’s announcement of a less expensive rail plan.

“This means the thousands of jobs to be generated in North Queensland from development of the coal resources in the Galilee Basin will be available sooner and that’s great news.”

Media contact: Kate Barwick 0408 072 809

Authorised by Senator M. Canavan, Rockhampton