MR: Environment Minister Ducks Questions about Labor-AWU Split on Straddie

Labor Environment Minister, Stephen Miles, refused to answer a question in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday) about the split between Labor and the AWU over Straddie mining jobs*.

"Despite my repeated attempts in Parliamentary Question Time to get Minister Steven Miles to explain the split between the Labor Government and the Australian Workers Union on North Stradbroke Island, the Minister ducked for cover and refused to answer the question," Dr Robinson said.

"The Premier and her Ministers are hiding from the truth that a chasm has opened up between the Australian Workers Union and the Labor Party in Queensland, due to this Labor Government's politically-inspired deal with inner city soy-latte sipping Greens to prematurely shut down the sandmine on Straddie."   

"They are super-sensitive to this schism over job losses, such that they are now refusing to answer questions in Parliament about the job losses, and the Premier still has not attended an open public meeting on Stradbroke Island to answer the questions of residents, as she promised to do so in the Parliament. 

This Labor Government has sold out the workers on North Stradbroke Island - their jobs, families, children and future.

"The State Government says its concerned about the workers and jobs at Townsville with the troubled Nickel mine, but how about the same care for Straddie workers," Dr Robinson said.

"The State Government says it won't let the environment get in the way of creating jobs at the Adani Carmichael mine, but they are happy to destroy hundreds of jobs (direct and indirect) on Straddie for an extra 30% national park.

"The State Government says it is Closing the Gap with indigenous Australians, yet 30% of the mining job losses on Stradbroke will be Quandamooka aboriginal workers."

"Question time yesterday demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt that this Labor Government is frozen at the wheel and not listening to anyone, not even the AWU as it attempts to protect the workers on Stradbroke Island.

END

Media Contact: Sue Hanlon 3446 9100

 

* QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE: 20/04/2016

North Stradbroke Island, Draft Transition Packages Dr ROBINSON: My question is directed to the Minister for Environment. Australian Workers Union state secretary, Ben Swan, publicly stated that he was contacted by the Minister for Environment on 1 December 2015. The minister subsequently stated ‘that the AWU was happy with the draft transition packages’. Can the minister advise the House who told him that the AWU was happy with the government’s plans?

Mr HINCHLIFFE: I rise to a point of order. This relates to a matter that relates to a bill before the House— Mr CRIPPS: I rise to a point of order.

Dr ROBINSON: I rise to a point of order. It does not.

Mr CRIPPS: I rise to a point of order.

Mr HINCHLIFFE:—in relation to the North Stradbroke Island— Mr SPEAKER: One moment. Member for Hinchinbrook, I will take your point of order after I hear the point of order from the Leader of the House.

Mr HINCHLIFFE: The transition plans relate directly to the need to transition upon what is proposed in the legislation in relation to the closure of— Mr CRIPPS: I rise to a point of order.

Mr HINCHLIFFE:—the leases for sandmining on North Stradbroke Island.

Mr SPEAKER: Thank you, Leader of the House. What is your point of order, member for Hinchinbrook?

Mr CRIPPS: The Leader of the House is misleading the House. The economic transition plans and the workforce transition plans are not part in any way, shape or form of the bills introduced by the government or the crossbenches that are currently before the House.

Mr SPEAKER: Thank you. I will allow the question. Minister, are you happy with the question? Do you understand it?

Honourable members interjected.

Dr MILES: I am hesitant to debate the matter before the House given that it is those opposite who moved a motion in this chamber to have the committee deal with the ETS at the same time as the legislation. It is very difficult to fairly answer the question.

Dr ROBINSON: I rise to a point of order.

Mr SPEAKER: There is one minute left, or there might be two minutes.

Dr ROBINSON: Just for clarification, did you rule the question out of order? The minister, who is obviously hiding from the Australian Workers Union, did not want to answer the question.

Mr HINCHLIFFE: I rise to a point of order.

Dr ROBINSON: I just seek your ruling.

Mr SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

Mr HINCHLIFFE: I was wanting to draw to your attention that the member for Cleveland’s supposed point of order should be out of order in itself.

Mr SPEAKER: Thank you. I do not need your assistance at the moment. I will allow the question—

1224 Crime and Corruption Amendment Bill 20 Apr 2016 Dr ROBINSON: Mr Speaker— Mr SPEAKER: Member for Cleveland, will you please just repeat your question so the minister can answer it?

Dr ROBINSON: I am happy to do so. Australian Workers Union state secretary Ben Swan publicly stated that he was contacted by the Minister for Environment on 1 December 2015. The minister subsequently stated ‘that the AWU was happy with the draft transition packages’. Can the minister advise the House who told him the AWU was happy with the government’s plan, and, Minister, do not mislead the House?

Mr SPEAKER: Members, question time has finished.