First shot: Union puts election threat into action

In its first shot across the bow, the militant CFMEU has made good on its threat to target traditional ally Labor at the upcoming state election, and warned it's prepared to take action in more regions.

While its first campaign actions are in a marginal seat held by the LNP, it sent a clear message of what to expect, blasting the ALP for "bowing to the inner-city green vote".

The union used a flyer distributed across the Toowoomba North electorate to urge voters to turn against Labor for not approving the New Acland Stage 3 mine, accusing the Government of hiding behind court processes.

CFMEU southeast mining delegate Michael Hartin. File picture
CFMEU southeast mining delegate Michael Hartin. File picture

The attack comes three weeks after CFMEU boss Michael Ravbar unleashed on Labor, quitting the dominant Left Faction and pulling financial support ahead of the election.

The flyers were distributed this week to coincide with postal vote applications with CFMEU delegate for mining across the southeast Michael Hartin telling The Courier-Mail the union was planning more action in the seat.

"Labor has been hiding behind the court process at taxpayers' expense and bowing to the inner-city green vote," the flyer reads.

"New Hope is an Australian Owned Company that is mining Australian Coal with Australian local workers.

"Vote No to Qld Labor in Toowoomba North."

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The LNP's Trevor Watts is the sitting MP in Toowoomba North, with the party holding the seat by a margin of 5.7 per cent at the 2017 election.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth said the union's members at New Hope felt let down.

"The Queensland Government has the power to approve this project despite ongoing legal action," he said.

Stephen Smyth from the CFMEU. (AAP Image/Steve Pohlner)
Stephen Smyth from the CFMEU. (AAP Image/Steve Pohlner)

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the Government would await the outcome of the High Court processes before finalising the remaining approvals for the project.

Mr Hartin said there had never been a greater need to protect jobs.

"We've see two previous Labor Governments approve projects despite their being an ongoing court process," he said.

Mr Hartin said the union would be campaigning against Labor in other seats but would not say which ones.

LNP Senator Paul Scarr said the 13 year, long delayed process around New Acland's approval sent a bad message to businesses looking to invest in Queensland.

"This state will lose opportunities that we're not even aware of because companies will be looking at this as an example of how hard it is to do business in Queensland," he said.

Originally published as First shot: Union puts election threat into action


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