Labor Admits ‘No Plan’ to Replace Straddie Jobs, only After Passing Laws
Friday 27 May, 2016
- Labor Minister, Steven Miles confesses to No PLAN for job replacement, only after Straddie law changes get through Queensland Parliament in midnight hour
- Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad referred to Speaker/Ethics Committee for misleading Parliament over closed ETU meeting at Dunwich
- 300 jobs at risk – as 150 jobs cut from North Stradbroke Island sand mining
- Queensland Labor breaks election promise to protect and create jobs – a move opposed by local businesses and community
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has admitted to having no plan to replace sacked workers, the morning after sneaking through laws to end sand mining on North Stradbroke Island at the mid-night hour – a move that will cut hundreds of jobs and create an uncertain future for the local community.
“The local Member for North Stradbroke Island, Member for Cleveland Mark Robinson, was infuriated with the deception of the state Labor Government by pretending that they had a plan to replace the workers they are sacking, sneaking the laws in at midnight by 1 vote, then being caught out the morning after without a plan,” Dr Robinson said.
“The Labor Environment Minister, Steven Miles was forced to fess up in Question time Thursday that they were still working on their plan to try to fill the jobs void that will be left behind by Labor’s unpopular decision, after pretending that the government had an economic transition plan already in place*
“The disgraceful admission of Labor’s Environment Minister came after the denial by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad during the Stradbroke Island debate in the Parliament, that she had attended a closed meeting with ETU Officials and workers on North Stradbroke Island, when many witnesses saw her there and many locals and journalists trying to attend the meeting were vigorously refused entry by Union security.**
Shadow Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said Labor's laws to shut down sand mining on North Stradbroke Island by 2019 would throw the local community into further turmoil and broke an election promise to create jobs in Queensland, not axe them.
“This asleep-at-the-wheel Labor government has sold out Straddie locals by completely caving in to pressure from green activist groups that don’t represent the views of the overwhelming majority of local people on North Stradbroke Island,” Mr Cripps said.
“North Stradbroke Island businesses, the Straddie Chamber of Commerce, the local community and a large number of traditional owners have condemned Labor’s so-called Economic Transition Strategy as completely inadequate to replace the hundreds of jobs that will be lost.
“The LNP Opposition remains firmly of the view that a 2035 closure date is the most sensible timeframe for the end of sand mining on North Stradbroke Island, providing for an orderly transition for the local economy and employees.
“The former LNP Government’s 2013 legislation allowed a reasonable timeframe for the local economy to transition to other industries, such as tourism, and Labor hasn’t presented any convincing arguments that this new timeframe allows for that transition to occur.
“Sand mining is the cornerstone of the North Stradbroke Island economy – it provides hundreds of direct and indirect jobs and supports the livelihoods of many families that live there and many businesses that have invested there.
“The Palaszczuk Government has moved to end sand mining by 2019, which will take these jobs away, despite the fact that the Australian Workers Union has protested loudly and vigorously against Labor's policy, which impacts directly on its members.”
Mr Cripps said Labor's shut down of sand mining on North Stradbroke Island was the latest in a series of controversial interventions in the resources sector that was undermining confidence in the industry and jeopardising future investment.
“Labor’s record on the resources sector in Queensland over the last 15 months is appalling and confidence from resource companies has plunged to a near five-year low,” he said.
“Palaszczuk and Labor have created a clear question mark over sovereign risk for resource companies wanting to invest in our great state.”
Media contact: Mark Robinson 07 3446 9100
* Audio file of Question Time / also see Queensland Parliament Hansard – Thursday 26 May, morning: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/hansard/2016/2016_05_26_DAILY.pdf - page 2148
** Redland City Bulletin coverage of Deputy Premier attending closed meeting with ETU http://www.redlandcitybulletin.com.au/story/3442793/2019-mine-end-set-in-stone/ / also see Queensland Parliament Hansard – Wednesday 25 May, evening debate on Bill – during Mark Robinson speech: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/hansard/2016/2016_05_25_DAILY.pdf - page 2090
Subsequently on Thursday 26 May, Mark Robinson rose in the Parliament on a Matter of Privilege and advised that he will be writing to the Speaker in due course to request that Jackie Trad be referred to the Parliamentary Ethics Committee for Misleading the Parliament on this matter.