DAY OF ACTION: CQ shouts 1, 2, 3... Go Galilee!
ORIGINALLY planned as a day of protest, Rockhampton's pro-mining 'Day of Action' was more of a victory parade following the good news from the Queensland Government providing certainty on the future of Adani's Carmichael Mine.
Organised by Rockhampton Regional Council, the Day of Action event was designed to send message to the politicians in Brisbane and Canberra that the regions shouldn't be a forgotten and the success of the mining industry, particularly the Adani project, was critical to the future of Central Queensland's economy and employment.
The show of people power kicked off after 11am on Rockhampton's "Old Bridge” where a convoy of an assortment of vehicles including semi-trailers, graders and four-wheel drives made the crossing, cheered on by dozens of placard waving supporters.
The crowd, estimated at 200 people, then converged on the Rod Laver Plaza to address gathered media before speeches were given by Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow, Resources Minister Matt Canavan, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, State LNP leader Deb Frecklington, Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke.
While the words were different, the message from each of them was the same - that it was essential to support the mining industry with each pledging to do what they could to ensure that regional Queensland got a bigger slice of the wealth that was generated here.
Mayor Strelow invited the crowd to sign a petition calling for a "fair go” for the regions before getting a free slice of cake. She instructed them to say they were from the city if they wanted a big slice and from the regions if they wanted a smaller slice.
A week can be a long time in politics reflected an exuberant Resources Minister Matt Canavan addressing the crowd.
Only days ago, Senator Canavan, flanked by his colleagues Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, faced the uncertain prospect of having to deal with a Bill Shorten lead Federal Labor government and uncertainties regarding their approach towards the Adani Carmichael Mine and future coal mining projects.
Senator Canavan applauded regional Queensland's stunning rebuke of Labor and the threat to mining presented by former Greens leader Bob Brown's Stop Adani convoy, which he said galvanised the CQ community to "unite against what we fight against”.
He suggested Mr Brown might like to send another convoy up when it came time to get a new coal-fired power station over the line.
Recently re-elected Ms Landry also thanked Mr Brown for his role in rallying support behind the coal mining industry.
She said they were now "on a roll” regarding her key election issues of coal mining, major infrastructure projects, water projects and generating employment.
Hailing from a regional Queensland town, Ms Frecklington said it was important for the government to support regional jobs by opening up the Galilee Basin and backing the agricultural sector.
Under siege following a demoralising federal election defeat for the ALP, State Labor's Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke faced a hostile crowd at the pro-mining rally yesterday to repeat their support for the resource sector.
Following years of protracted negotiations with Adani over the Carmichael coal mine, the MP's lives were made easier by the news that timelines and deadlines had been provided to advance the controversial project.
Met by jeers from the hostile crowd, Mrs Lauga bravely repeated what she had said throughout her political career - that her government was strongly supportive of the resource industry which employs 66,000 Queenslanders.
Since Labor took over in Queensland, she said $20 billion in mining projects had been approved, generating 7000 jobs and generating $14 billion annually, which flowed into Canberra's coffers for distribution elsewhere.
Mrs Lauga said she would like to see the wealth generated here, spent here.
She called for a greater effort to create jobs that were secure.