A Coalition MP from North Queensland has described the actions of anti-coal activists protesting the development of the controversial Abbot Point Coal Terminal expansion as “terrorism,” aimed at destryoying Australian jobs and lifestyles.
In a media statement released on Wednesday, the National Party member for Dawson, George Christensen – who this week has also voiced his opposition to the burqa, describing it as “alarming,” not conducive to human connection and a security risk – said North Queensland would “no longer bow down to eco-terrorists” and would “defend our jobs and our lifestyles and call out these gutless green germs for the terrorists they are.”
The Abbot Point expansion project – which would cater to what would be one of the world’s biggest coalmines, in Queensland’s Galilee Basin – won approval from federal environment minister Greg Hunt in December 2013, including the dredging and dumping of 3 million tonnes of sludge in the Great Barrier Reef’s waters to expand coal export terminals.
Since then, two legal challenges have been launched against Hunt’s decision, the latest in April from the Mackay Conservation Group, using $150,000 raised by activist group GetUp!
Christensen said the political agenda of the “Extreme Greens” was overshadowing good work being done by community groups and individuals who “genuinely cared about the environment” and were working hard to protect it.
“The extremists are the large, well organised, and very well-funded organisations who use fear and blackmail to coerce the government and the public into adopting their extreme political and ideological views,” Christensen said.
He said that activists “hanging themselves like daft bats from a ship-loader,” or threatening to lie on train tracks were acts of stupidity and of terrorism.
“To circumvent their frivolous court action against the Abbot Point Coal Terminal expansion, which they know is baseless, I sought another solution – a land based solution – that would nullify the reef blackmail.
“Such a solution has been announced by the State Government and by continuing to fight the project, the eco-terrorists have proved their protest was never about the environment.
“The eco-terrorists butchered the international tourism market, which sources tell me is down 30 per cent as a result of their campaign, not for the sake of the reef but for the sake of their political ideology.
“They threaten to kill off thousands of more jobs in the resource industry because they don’t like coal, they don’t like capitalism, and they don’t like people working hard to earn a decent living.”
Mr Christensen praised the local community for supporting last week’s rally in Bowen, saying the tide was turning against the green extremists.
“Today, I put the Extreme Greens on notice,” he said. “North Queensland will not bow down to eco-terrorists. We will not allow them to lie, to smear, to defame, and to break the law for their own political purposes.
“We will call out their falsehoods and call for the Extremists to be treated the same as anyone else who commits a crime or an act of terrorism.”