Regional Labor MPs call to ‘rip Adani Band-Aid’

REGIONAL Palaszczuk Government MPs are banding together in the wake of Saturday's brutal Federal drubbing, calling for the "band-aid to be ripped off on Adani".

They want more regional members around the Cabinet table to send a message to voters that they have heard the message they delivered on Saturday and they are acting.

The MPs are pushing for a special caucus meeting or a phone hook-up with the leadership team to discuss massive swings against Labor across the state as they fight to turn the ship around before it is their turn to face the voters on October 31 next year.

It is not just regional MPs who are worried with many in the southeast corner sifting through the results to see what it could mean for them.

Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper said regional members had been talking since Saturday's result.

"There has been many calls between regional MPs," he said.

"We know what we stand for in north Queensland."

Mr Harper acknowledged that Adani needed to acquire the necessary government approvals but told The Courier-Mail "I want it done, I want it approved."

"We have a number of (regional) MPs who just want this thing done so we can move on with this very strong jobs agenda," he said.

 

Thuringowa Labor MP Aaron Harper. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Thuringowa Labor MP Aaron Harper. Picture: Zak Simmonds

 

"We've (Labor) got a good story to tell in terms of mining and resource jobs in this state.

"Clearly they've got more to do in that environmental process but im buoyed by the fact that they were meeting with the department late last week and progressing through it."

Mr Harper conceded the mine dominated the election in the regions and in an indirect dig at former Greens leader Bob Brown, said Queenslanders wouldn't be told what to do by people coming up from southern states.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said she believed a debrief was necessary of the state team could have a "hard look at themselves in the mirror" and understanding the message that has been sent.

"We need to do something. Whether it is a caucus meeting or a teleconference. "We do just need to have a really good discussion about where we are going and what we are doing and how we can try and improve our primary vote in Queensland."

Ms Lauga said she believed adding more regional members to the Cabinet could help as they could give a unique insight into what those areas needed.

"I do think that needs to be reconsidered because if we are governing for the whole of Queensland then we need to make sure that the Cabinet that is the Government represents our goal to govern for the whole of Queensland."

 

Bob Brown talks to the media, in Jubilee Park, Mackay. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner
Bob Brown talks to the media, in Jubilee Park, Mackay. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner

 

She too said Adani was a factor at the polls with the LNP effectively campaigning to convince voters the ongoing saga of its environmental approvals meant Labor was anti-coal.

"One thing I have learned is that Adani seems to represent in a lot of the electorates like mine as being the future of coal mining," she said.

"And whilst we have seen more mines come to fruition that under the previous government, that hasn't been cutting through with people.

"People see Adani as the one mine that the government is refusing to approve and that means the Government is anti-mining all together.

"All the people that I have talked to agree that we need to rip the Band-Aid off, that we can't have this issue hanging over our head at the next state election or even anywhere close to the next state election."

Rumours were spreading through Labor that Ms Lauga was so furious she was threatening to run as an independent at the looming election if the Adani issue is not fixed.

She said that was untrue.

"I'm not planning on running as an Independent."

 

Rockhampton Labor MP Barry O’Rourke.
Rockhampton Labor MP Barry O’Rourke.

Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke said it was imperative the Government listened to what voters were saying.

"We need to sit down and re-look at our messaging on lots of things, particularly on Adani.

"People were saying that Labor was about getting rid of the mining industry, getting rid of the jobs.

"We lost it on the messaging. We have actually approved some $20 billion worth of resource projects since the Palaszczuk Government came in, that's 7000 pr 8000 jobs that have been created.

"If we have not come to a clear position on Adani before the next election it will be extremely damaging to regional MPs.

"It is wall-to-wall blue now federally.

"I am concerned (about losing his seat). There is no question about that."

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga. Picture: Annette Dew
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga. Picture: Annette Dew


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