Rocky convoy against government

ROCKHAMPTON’S Tony Hopkins will lead a Convoy of No Confidence to Canberra next week.

He will be one of many leading the way to the nation’s capital for a two-day protest, following protests by others this week against the Federal Government’s carbon tax.

Rockhampton and Central Queenslanders heading south this weekend will be protesting with the message they no longer have confidence in the Federal Government, because of the carbon tax U-turn and the knee-jerk reaction on the treatment of cattle in Indonesia.

About 200 people have signed up to drive in a convoy, leaving Rockhampton tomorrow at 7am from the Yeppen roundabout, to join up with others from across the country to give the government that message.

The convoy is an initiative of the National Road Freighters Association (NRFA), which has 400 members.

The association spoke with others through the Coalition of Industries, such as the coal industry and Agforce, and then organised this convoy.

Tony Hopkins, of Hopkins Brothers, who has been the face of the Rockhampton campaign and is a director of the NRFA, said people had lost confidence in the Federal Government when they had the knee-jerk reaction to news of cruelty to Australian cattle in Indonesia by banning live exports to the country.

“There was no thought to the consequences of what they’ve done,” he said.

“Within the first few days, transport companies closed their doors.”

Mr Hopkins said the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland rely on that one cheque each year from the live exports to help them survive.

He said this was the straw that broke the camel’s back after those people had struggled through years of drought, then followed by floods and a cyclone.

“We are focusing on the need of a government that can govern in their own right, not be dictated to by a minority of psychopaths,” Mr Hopkins said.

He said one of the problems with the perception of the convoy is that people think it’s just a bunch of farmers whinging.

“City people are insulated to what is going on,” Mr Hopkins said.

“They are either public employees or on a salary.”

The convoy rally, which will not be a road block, will be held in Canberra on Monday and Tuesday.

The organisers wrote to the Federal pollies, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Greens leader Bob Brown, posting letters via registered post, with only Opposition leader Tony Abbott replying to date.

Queensland Opposition-endorsed leader Campbell Newman said this convoy showed people, particularly in rural and regional Queensland and other parts of Australia were fed up with a government that makes bad decisions like the carbon tax that will hurt agriculture and mining.

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