Federal Member for Shortland, Mr Pat Conroy, has criticised the Turnbull Government for considering loaning $1b to help fund a rail link to the Adani coal mine in Queensland, saying it showed “zero concern” for Hunter coal miners.
In an interview with 2HD’s Richard King, Mr Conroy said the loan would threaten local jobs because it gave a boost to a competitor at a time when local mines were under pressure.
“The coal market globally is actually shrinking, so if you increase supply, you’re actually going to reduce the price other coal producers get for their product,” Mr Conroy said.
Although citing falling exports to China and India, Mr Conroy stressed that he was not opposed to the mine’s opening and to coal in general.
“If Adani meets all of its environmental requirements, all of its conditions, and it raises the money privately, then good luck to them.
“My bone of contention is that the Federal Government shouldn’t be spending $1b to threaten our coal miners.
“Adani themselves admit that this project will only create 1,400 jobs, and those 1,400 jobs will be very welcome in central and northern Queensland.
“But they’re endangering the 18,000 coal miners that currently work in the Hunter Valley and all the communities that rely on those jobs.”
Mr Conroy also questioned the Minerals Council’s call for the Government to remove the special tax exemption provided to Greenpeace, after protesters were arrested on Newcastle Harbour.
“I totally condemn their action.
“They not only endanger themselves, they endanger the workers doing their job, but we shouldn’t take punitive action against groups because that’s silencing dissent,” he said.
Media release, May 30
Paddy Doulman, office of Pat Conroy