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Turnbull contempt for Christmas Island Community.

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The Hon Warren Snowdon MP Labor Member for LIngiari

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs

Tuesday 1 May 2007

MEDIA RELEASE TURNBULL CONTEMPT FOR CHRISTMAS ISLAND COMMUNITY Member for Lingiari and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia Warren Snowdon said today a decision by the Minister for the Environment and Water Services to ban the expansion of phosphate mining on Christmas Island without proper consultation with industry and workers showed contempt for the entire island community. Mr Snowdon said the decision has significant implications for the major employer on the Island, Christmas Island Phosphates (CIP) and employment opportunities on the island. ‘The decision could shorten the life of the existing mine, leaving few alternative economic opportunities for the bulk of the island’s workers’, he said. ‘The Minister has made no attempt to discuss his decision with representatives of CIP, its workforce, or their union the Union of Christmas Island Workers, let alone visit the Island to inform himself of the issues prior to making any decision. ‘To add insult to injury he’s announced it by press release and did not communicate with the island or discuss options with CIP before he released it. ‘’And to make matters worse I also understand that the previous Minister for the Environment, Ian Campbell, had undertaken to visit the island and to discuss the matter with the company if he was intending to make a decision not to approve the proposed expansion of the mine. ‘The current Minister would, of course, be screaming blue murder if a business in his own community was treated with the same shoddy arrogance, contempt and disregard. ‘The very least he should be doing is sitting down with CIP representatives and discuss in detail his decision and the reasons for his refusal and to give the company an opportunity to respond and if necessary what they can do to allay his concerns. ‘What he has done instead is nothing but a calculated insult,’ Mr Snowdon said