Bob Brown responds to Last's attack on crowdfunding appeal
UPDATE: FORMER Greens leader Bob Brown has responded to Dale Last's attack yesterday on his decision to support the launch of a crowdfunding appeal to purchase a plot of land in the Galilee Basin to use as a campaign base for anti-coal activism.
Dr Brown said he welcomed dialogue with state shadow minister Dale Last and took the chance to argue the case for renewable energy in his rebuttal.
"Dale (Last) let Gautam Adani fly in and out from Queensland last week without a word, so I am a bit humbled that he has so much to say about my longer visit to the Sunshine state," he said.
"He is the shadow minister for natural resources and mines.
"I think we'll be on the same page when it comes to the 50,000 jobs which could be created in Queensland if it became the global renewable energy hub it so well could be.
"That's a far better modern option for Dale to be promoting than polluting coal, the burning of which is now threatening jobs across Queensland due to the coal-worsened drought and coral reef damage.
"I accept that he will disagree about my backing of the good souls who have the courage to stand in the way of Gautam Adani's plunder of the Galilee Basin but such is life."
INITIAL: MEMBER for Burdekin Dale Last has lashed out at former Greens leader Bob Brown over the launch of a crowdfunding appeal to purchase a plot of land in the Galilee Basin to use as a campaign base.
While Mr Last said he would not be surprised to see the Friends of the Galilee Basin campaign reach its $500,000 target, he said the former politician had again ignored the plight of regional Queensland and had ignored the message that thousands of people sent to the Bob Brown Convoy in May.
"Bob Brown and his band of supporters have tried once, they failed then and they will fail again if they think they are going to turn up in regional Queensland and disrespect our needs and our future," Mr Last said.
"If he thinks he will turn up to Bowen and set up some sort of activists' nirvana I have some really bad news for Dr Brown and his followers."
Mr Last said that he would be calling on Whitsunday Regional Council and the Queensland Government to do "whatever it takes" to stop the establishment of a training camp.
"We have seen protesters turn these camps into absolute health hazards with limited or no toilets on site and that is something that neither the local council nor the State Government can turn a blind eye to," he said.
"Whitsunday Regional Council, and the residents of Bowen, have made it very clear they don't want the activists in town and they won't tolerate them and I hope council will continue their hard line.
"The Queensland Government was pushed into approving the Carmichael Mine project when Queenslanders sent them a clear message at the Federal Election so I guess we will see whether they have the backbone to stand up for regional Queensland or whether they will cave in to Bob Brown."
In May, Mr Last introduced amendments to Queensland's Trespass Laws that would significantly increase penalties for protesters and protest organisers if commercial premises or transport infrastructure were disrupted.
"Business in regional Queensland, many of them small family businesses, are being targeted and the current penalties are basically a slap on the wrist,'' he said.
"If people want to protest legally and respectfully then that is one thing but preventing a business from operating and preventing workers from earning a living is not on.
"Those selfish actions mean huge losses for business owners and employees.
"These activists have spread mistruths and lies about this project and it's time they were help to account."