The Stop Adani message passes through Central Queensland
THE Stop Adani Convoy made it to Rockhampton yesterday to a cold reception from both major party candidates, Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson and a counter rally.
Labor candidate Russell Robertson made his feelings known early yesterday.
"They are completely unwelcome,” he said.
"The devastation the Green movement is causing to Central Queensland and the local jobs market is horrendous - they want to shut the coal industry down.”
Mr Robertson said the convoy was a personal blow to his family's heritage characterised by coal mining.
Across the political divide, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry did not budge on her defiant stance. "I don't believe they are welcome here,” she said. "People are angry that people are coming up here, telling us what we should be doing but if they hate coal power so much. Let's cut the power off for a couple of days and see how they cope.”
Convoy leader Dr Bob Brown fronted media yesterday before heading to Emu Park.
He said despite the hostile rhetoric from leaders, he had witnessed little more that a few roadside middle fingers.
"I witnessed a couple of cranky folk along the road giving a rude salute and yelling out some bad, bad words, but I saw that all in the Franklin Dam campaign,” he said.
According to Dr Brown, there were numerous businesses in Clermont (the convoy's Galilee stop) that were willing to serve the convoy, despite recent reporting claiming otherwise.
He said the "threatening” language from representatives was worrying convoy members, and he wanted to hold those responsible for the comments accountable for any future violence against them.
"Threats work on a broad scale,” he said.
"When you see on Michelle Landry's Facebook site enticement to shoot 'greenies', you have to think that's a worry.”
"Adani are repeating those comments (alleged convoy comments comparing coal miners to Nazis) to stir negative passion deliberately.”
"I will put that to Adani if anything were to happen.”
One Nation candidate and coal miner Wade Rothery said the convoy misunderstood the importance of coal in Australian society.
"I am hoping they come up here and realise just how hard we work, just so they can have the luxuries they have,” he said.
Mr Rothery was backed up by Senator Hanson who echoed his sentiment.
"They're coming from down south and they have no idea what it is like in Central Queensland,” she said.
"Especially when there is close to 37,000 people involved in coal mining.”
The convoy was met with a counter rally in Emu Park, an hour before its lantern parade was set to begin.
The Morning Bulletin contributor Malcolm Wells attended the counter rally and said a large crowd of miners in high visibility uniforms had gathered in the same place as the convoy.
Four police cars were on site but the crowds remained peaceful, resorting to verbal heckling and sign waving.
Mr Wells said Dr Brown was addressed the counter rally, but it was unclear what was said.
The convoy heads to Airlie Beach today and will be in Clermont for a "special Galilee event” over the weekend.