Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington and New Hope chief operating officer Andrew Boyd at the mine on Thursday  (Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)

September 17, 2020

Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington says approving the New Acland coal mine expansion would be “a priority” for an incoming LNP State Government.

Mrs Frecklington visited the New Hope-run mine on Thursday.

She said the State Government was putting local jobs at risk by changing the goal posts and delaying approvals.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is the only thing standing in the way of this project and the local jobs that depend on it,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“Labor’s anti-resources ideology is putting jobs at risk on the Darling Downs.

“This project would be approved as a priority by an LNP Government because we need to stimulate the economy, create secure jobs and drag Queensland out of recession.

“The expansion will be a significant jobs-generator and support local businesses in the Darling Downs economy.

“With a record 234,000 Queenslanders on the unemployment queue, the LNP will fast-track projects that support jobs.

“When regional economies boom, Queensland booms, and that’s why I will back resource projects that will secure our economic future.”

Mrs Frecklington said approval of New Acland’s Stage 3 was worth 487 direct jobs plus thousands of indirect jobs and $7 billion to the Queensland economy.

Earlier this week, the CFMMEU urged voters in the Toowoomba North electorate to vote against Labor at the upcoming State poll due to its refusal to issue approvals for the Acland expansion, claiming the State Government was “hiding behind” the court process.

And last month, members of the CFMMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland voted to pull financial support from the ALP due to anger over the Acland issue.

However, despite the fact that Mrs Frecklington and the miners’ union appear to be on the same side over Acland, it hasn’t stopped another part of the same union – the Construction and General Division Queensland – from taking a shot at her on social media on Wednesday:

“Guess which Qld political leader was one of only a very small handful of people on a near full Qantas flight out of Townsville to Brisbane yesterday afternoon to refuse to wear a face mask, despite Qantas urging their use and distributing masks? SPOILER: Her initials are DF.”

Mrs Frecklington responded by telling reporters 75 per cent of people on the flight weren’t wearing masks.

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