Ian MacFarlane. Pics: Tim Marsden
Ian MacFarlane. Pics: Tim Marsden

Bill aims to ban mining in Galilee Basin

A CONTROVERSIAL bill aimed at banning mining in the Galilee Basin should be formally thrown out by parliament when it sits in Townsville as sign of "support for resources jobs", the Queensland Resources Council has said.

The Mineral Resources (Galilee Basin) Amendment Bill was introduce by lone Greens MP Michael Berkman in October last year. A parliamentary committee recommended the bill be binned four months ago.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the Townsville sitting of parliament would be the "ideal opportunity" for the Labor state government to show its support for resources jobs by voting down the bill.

"Our political leaders say they support coalmining jobs. Now that the parliament is getting out of Brisbane and sitting in a resources heartland it's time to back those words with actions," he said.

"Parliament should vote immediately to throw out this Bill.

"With anti-resources activists trying to bully business and trying to constantly disrupt people's lives and livelihoods, now is the time to act.

"From the Premier, to the Treasurer and the Opposition Leader, we'd hope to see every one of our political leaders in both the Government and the Opposition stand up against this type of economic vandalism."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk arrived in Townsville yesterday ahead of the rare sitting of parliament in the regions, which will get underway tomorrow.

This week's proceedings will be the first regional sitting since 2011 and the first in Townsville since 2002.

The schedule is expected to be heavy, with the State Government tipped to make a number of crucial announcements.

Mr Macfarlane's comments come after Townsville civic leaders last week strongly condemned anti-Adani protesters blockading a local business, with one Labor politician describing them as "idiots" who are not welcome in the community.

Stop Adani Townsville spokeswoman Wendy Tubman said the group were not planning "any great disruption" at the Parliamentary sitting.

Mr McFarlane said it was time for the parliament to take a stand against "anti-mining, anti-jobs activists".

"While anti-coal activists sneer at these jobs, they are an opportunity that regional Queenslanders are ready to grasp, especially given mining jobs are typically high-skilled and high-paying," he said.

A spokeswoman for Adani said representatives of the mining giant would be in Townsville attending resource industry events and other events where government representatives are expected to be in attendance.

"As always, we welcome all members of parliament for meetings, briefings and tours of our Adani Headquarters while the government is visiting Townsville next week," she said.

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