'Out of touch': Queenan not supportive of Adani convoy
INDENEPENT candidate for Dawson Lachlan Queenan has labelled Friday's Stop Adani Convoy participants as "champagne-sipping socialists" and "economic vandals" who are out of touch with North Queensland.
"If they're serious about stopping Adani, then I suggest not running their cars up the highway, I suggest we go back to horse and cart and fires by the river every night," he said.
Mr Queenan said coal-fired power stations were something that the region needed to utilise, and that the rest of the world had "nice and cheap electricity" thanks to Australia's mining industry.
Stop Adani Convoy participant Karen Morrissey said the rally wasn't against all mining, it was about stopping new coal mines from opening, and highlighting the detrimental impact the Carmichael Coal mine would have on the environment and global warming, if it was given the green light.
Ms Morrissey said with the option to use renewables to harness enough solar and wind power to cater for the nation's needs, it wasn't necessary to mine for very low-quality brown coal.
The coal from the Carmichael Coal Mine would be shipped through the Great Barrier Reef, in open containers, Ms Morrissey said, and she claimed the damage caused by the brown coal dust settling on the reef and surrounding mangroves in the region would be irreversible.
"Giving the mine unrestricted access to the Great Artisan Basin will dry the aquifers that have been there for millions of years," she said.
Mr Queenan said he could understand that people wanted to transition towards a more sustainable future, but that it would take time, and that burning coal was the way forward for now, and for the time being there wasn't any reason why coal, coral and cane could exist alongside one another.
"There's going to be coal for some time- we can't just flick off power stations," he said.
"What we need is to build dams, and hydro power stations, and to do that we need to burn some of this coal and help businesses by getting the cost of electricity down, so they can be compete not just here in Australia, but internationally."