The issue that dare not speak its name
REGIONAL Labor MPs have been slammed failing to utter the word "Adani" in Queensland Parliament for over a year, despite moving to shore up voter support in their seats following the federal election bloodbath.
State Labor MPs Barry O'Rourke (Rockhampton), Glenn Butcher (Gladstone), Scott Stewart (Townsville), Coralee O'Rourke (Mundingburra), Julieanne Gilbert (Mackay), Aaron Harper (Thuringowa) and Brittany Lauga (Keppel) took a stand following Labor's drubbing last month, calling for the issue of approvals for the Carmichael mine to be resolved.
However analysis conducted by the LNP has revealed four of these MPs have not mentioned the word "Adani" in parliament since Labor was re-elected in 2017, while three others have said it once.
"These gutless MPs sat by and allowed (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk and (deputy) Jackie Trad to run their anti-jobs, anti-resources and anti-regions agenda and didn't say 'boo'," Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said.
"It is only after federal Labor's annihilation at the election have some of these spineless regional Labor MPs crawled out from underneath their rocks."
The Sunday-Mail last week revealed Mr O'Rourke and Ms Gilbert had also urged parliamentary colleagues not to appoint Richard Marles to the federal Labor deputy leadership because of his anti-coal stance.
The fallout from the federal election initiated an embarrassing backdown by Ms Palaszczuk, who claimed she was fed up with her own government's processes while intervening to set time frames for environmental approvals for the Adani mine to be resolved.
However Ms Gilbert, who mentioned Adani just once, said she never spoke up about any specific company in parliament because that wasn't for politicians to do.
"I have always shown my support for the coal industry," she said.
Mr Butcher said just because MPs did not mention Adani in parliament, that did not mean they don't support the mining industry.
"Most of the regional members have certainly said that they support Adani … and it's always been true," he said.
Mr Stewart said he had stood up in parliament during his first term to proclaim his support for the mine. "I got up and talked about mining (last month) and support for opening the Galilee Basin," he said.
Mr O'Rourke said he'd spoken about the resource sector in parliament. "In regards to Adani, if it stacks up that's great," he said.
Ms O'Rourke said she had long voiced her support for Adani. "I support job creation in our region and that includes supporting the mining and resources industry," she said.
Ms Lauga, who also mentioned Adani just once in parliament, said it was a silly attack by the Opposition.
"They ought to look at how many times I've spoken about secure jobs in the mining sector in parliament, which is a number of times," she said.
Mr Harper, who only mentioned Adani once, could not be reached for comment.