Pollies asked to utter 'three little words'
STANDING on a stage surrounded by hundreds of people, Martin Bella asked Dawson candidates attending a 'Go Galilee Basin' rally to utter "three little words".
The farmer and greenshirts leader asked those around incumbent George Christensen, KAP candidate Brendan Bunyan, One Nation's Debra Lawson and Labor candidate Belinda Hassan to raise their hands if they heard the words "I support Adani".
Hands went up around Christensen, Bunyan and Lawson but Mr Bella made it clear to the 250-strong crowd he could not see hands go up around Ms Hassan and her state Labour counterpart Julieanne Gilbert.
"I'm blatantly political because when anyone is trying to attack our industries they need to run their flag up the mast and live or die by it," he said during the Saturday morning For the Future of Our Region event.
"So, let's go again 'I support Adani' . . . and surprisingly no hands over here, thank you very much," Mr Bella said pointing towards Ms Hassan.
Ms Hassan has joined Mr Christensen, Mr Bunyan and United Australia Party's Colin Thompson in responding affirmatively to rally organiser Resource Industry Network's question to all candidates: 'Do you support companies developing new thermal and metallurgical coal mines in Australia?'.
But she has not publicly thrown her support behind Adani.
The Labor candidate yesterday told the Daily Mercury she attended the Saturday event in support of RIN and the mining industry. She said she reaffirmed that support through RIN's 'candidate responses' on coal mining.
"I cannot make myself any clearer," she said.
"Labor supports mining projects and workers. As I have always said, I welcome any project that creates sustainable, long-term jobs for our locals.
"If the Carmichael mine project shows it can do that, it will have my full support."
RIN general manager Adrienne Rourke said Capricornia candidates Michelle Landry (LNP), Russell Robertson (Labor), and Lindsay Sturgeon (UAP) had also publicly answered RIN's question with a resounding 'yes'.
"We've been seeking answers on multiple questions involving the Galilee Basin and associated infrastructure in recent weeks to ensure the voting community in this region are informed voters," Ms Rourke said.
"While it's great to see those who responded were in support of developing the Galilee Basin, we still call on everyone to challenge anti-mining commentary and ensure the debate is based on facts.
"It was great to see many of the Dawson and Capricornia seat candidates attend today's rally as it's crucial they understand our concerns."
In addressing the crowd, rally convener and RIN director Mick Crowe said: "If they (politicians) don't back us, we can't back them. It's as simple as that".
"If we can't build coal mines, we won't have the region as it is today, and that's not a small thing," he said.
"What we want to be able to do is give the cleanest power in the world to the people who need it, in a way they can afford it.
"This isn't good versus evil, or who's right and who's wrong. This is just about getting a rational debate, getting a voice, and a balanced democracy.
"We love the environment, I mean look around you, who would want to mess this up? This is a fantastic place to live and we're here to defend that as well."