December 1, 2012
Kingaroy businessman Jason Frecklington is angry that union frustration over job losses at Tarong Power Station is being taken out on his business, potentially putting more jobs at risk.
Recently he learned that unions had called for a boycott of his business in Shoppingworld just because his wife is local MP Deb Frecklington.
“No one from the unions has contacted me or had the guts to talk to my staff and tell them they want to put their jobs at risk,” Jason told southburnett.com.au today.
He learned of the boycott, which was announced at a joint union meeting, from comments from his customers.
“People have come up and asked me, ‘How is the boycott affecting you?’. On a couple of occasions wives have said ‘My husband would kill me if he knew I was here’,” he said.
Jason has nine staff members, five adults and four teenagers, and he says the boycott is putting their jobs in jeopardy.
Business has dropped 15 per cent from the same time last year. About 5 per cent of this Jason attributes to new competition but once the boycott was called, business suddenly dropped another 10 per cent.
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington released the following statement:
Following Stanwell Corporation’s announcement to place two units at the Tarong Power Station into cold storage, the ETU, CFMEU and others have started a deceptive and malicious campaign against the Newman Government Cabinet, myself and a local business owned and operated by my family
The misinformation being spread by the unions that I and the Newman Government Cabinet approved the cold storage decision at Tarong is completely incorrect.
The decision was taken by the Board of Stanwell Corporation. It was not a decision of Cabinet or a decision in which I had any involvement.
When I was notified of the decision, I expressed my extreme disappointment as I was acutely aware of the impact the decision would have on the local community.
Whilst I am able to bear the verbal abuse from the unions and their members I find it despicable that the ETU and CFMEU instructed members to boycott a business operated by my family which employs locals and supports other local businesses.
If the unions wish to punish the parties responsible for the circumstances which have led to Stanwell Corporation’s decision, then they should withdraw their financial support for the Australian Labor Party and the Greens.
It was the former Labor Government which pedalled the overly generous solar rebate schemes which have led to an oversupply of power on the Queensland grid. Furthermore, Labor broke an election commitment and implemented the Carbon Tax to appease the Greens, which has had a disproportionate impact on Queensland coal-fired generations like Tarong.
It is these decisions by Labor that now create the circumstance under which relatively efficient coal fired power stations must be shut down, as the power they generate is displaced by the more expensive power generated by roof top solar systems.
As an MP and a local business woman, I support business and jobs in my electorate of Nanango.
I will continue to be a strong advocate for my constituents and I call on the ETU and CFMEU to come clean with their members and concede that Labor policies used to shore up support from the Greens have let its members down, and to stop boycotting local businesses.”