Nationals senator Ron Boswell speaks to the media at Cement Australia, near Gladstone in 2008.
Nationals senator Ron Boswell speaks to the media at Cement Australia, near Gladstone in 2008.

Union support for ETS a betrayal: Boswell

UNION leaders who support Kevin Rudd's proposed Emissions Trading Scheme are betraying their members, Nationals Senator Ron Boswell said yesterday.

Speaking in Rockhampton, which he says will be at the epicentre of impact if the ETS is implemented, he called for rank and file members of the major energy and mining unions to kick up a stink.

“I just don't understand why the unions aren't screaming about this. The scheme will cost thousands of miners their jobs in Central Queensland and there are signs that they are beginning to understand that. But their leaders continue to support the Labor Party's line. It's a betrayal of the union membership,” he told The Morning Bulletin.

He confirmed that when the time came to vote in Parliament, the Nationals would oppose the scheme and he believed up to 70% of Liberal politicians would also vote against it.

“If that causes a double dissolution election then so be it,” he said.

“You can't dodge elections. This is the time to stand your ground and defend what you believe in. In rural and regional Australia, people are starting to work out for themselves what the ETS will mean for them and they will vent their anger on the politicians who vote for it.”

The Senator said he was worried about towns like Rockhampton, Biloela, Dysart, Emerald, Middlemount and Moranbah, especially as the Australian Coal Association has predicted this week that 16 coal mines would close and more than 9000 jobs would be lost in the first nine years of the scheme.

“Labor's ETS is about closing down coal and running the economy on renewable power,” he said.

“The ETS is finished in the bush and politicians like Kirsten Livermore (Federal Member for Capricornia) and Chris Trevor (Federal Members for Flynn), who support it, risk losing their seats at the next Federal election,” he said.



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