Landry accuses Shorten of secret deals to bring back ETS

MICHELLE Landry has accused the Opposition leader of secret deals to bring back the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), stabbing the Central Queensland economy in the back.

The Federal Member for Capricornia said Labor's Bill Shorten was preparing to raise the 'sword' to kill off future jobs and investment prospects for Queensland's biggest coal belt.

Ms Landry said Labor has a secret plan to raise both the renewable energy target by as much as 50%, and to bring back the carbon tax under another name, would spell a 'huge double blow' for Central Queensland.

"Capricornia is Queensland's biggest coal region. As little as 18 months ago in Central Queensland, it was estimated there were $77 billion worth of mining and resource projects either under construction or in the pipeline," Ms Landry said.

"By plotting secret plans to bring back an ETS, or carbon tax, Bill Shorten and the Labor candidate for Capricornia are raising a giant 'sword' to stab this region in the back - killing off prospects for new jobs and further coal investment here.

"The impact would be a massive double blow to future jobs in the coal and aluminium sectors and Labor's plan would shut down small businesses.

"Aside from losing their jobs, the impact on local families would be would be higher electricity prices."

The first time MP said the issue was likely to become a key election issue in Capricornia.

"Blind Freddy can see that the equation is simple: Labor's plan to please the The Greens, will equal fewer jobs, higher electricity bills, less investment and ghost towns in Central Queensland," Ms Landry said.

She said Bill Shorten and the Labor candidate in Capricornia should be 'embarrassed' to face coal industry workers who traditionally backed the union and Labor movement.

"I thought Labor was once the party of workers but now they are happy to sacrifice regional jobs to chase latte sipping 'green' votes in the inner city.

"Granted, that nothing is forever, but we have already hit hard times with a current mining slump coupled with a drought.

"Labor now put at risk billions of dollars worth of projects in the pipeline here.

"And they risk tarnishing our reputation to attract further resource investors from overseas.

"The Indians and Japanese are investing here because they have faith coal will turn around. India, for example, is telling me that they would prefer Queensland coal because it is cleaner to burn and better for the environment.

"But if Labor shuts this industry down in Capricornia, India is prepared to find cheap and nasty coal in places like Indonesia or Africa, which is of an inferior quality - meaning it causes more pollutants."

Last month, the Coalition put in place a sustainable plan for renewable energy that will see the level of renewables in Australia double over the next five years. Labor voted in Parliament for this plan.

"They are now back flipping with more boldness than an Olympic gymnast - but minus the sophistication and skill," Ms Landry said.

"The Coalition abolished the carbon tax last year. If Labor brings it back they are sending mixed messages to big business not to bother coming here."

Last month changes to the RET passed parliament - as a result Australia will see 23.5% of our energy mix coming from renewables by 2020, Ms Landry said.

The Bulletin is seeking comment from Mr Shorten and the ALP candidate for Capricornia Leisa Neaton.

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