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Dirt flies as Nationals fight to hold on to mining-rich electorate of Dawson, Qld

Posted by gmarkets on 4 October, 2007

According to Lachlan Heywood in The Courier Mail (26/9/2007, p.11), Queensland coal miners were unwillingly funding a climate-change campaign managed by a close friend and former adviser to Greens leader Bob Brown.

Green plan to stamp out coal: Considered the No. 1 enemy of the coal mining industry, Senator Brown has set a three-year deadline to phase out Australian coal exports and coal-fired power generation to tackle climate change. The radical proposal would cost an estimated 20,000 Queensland jobs, cripple the state’s economy and force regional towns to close.

CFMEU link: A former long-time adviser to Senator Brown — Canberra-based media consultant Ben Oquist — is the official contact for a joint climate-change campaign between the CFMEU mining and energy division and the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Nats in uproar: The Nationals — fighting to hold the mining-rich electorate of Dawson — seized on the connection to claim the state’s hardworking coal miners were being sold out to the “sworn enemy” of the industry.

Green link: Oquist helped establish the Greens in 1992 and worked for Senator Brown for 10 years before joining the left-leaning public relations firm Essential Media Communications. Oquist is also involved in a high-profile campaign against coal mines in the Hunter Valley in NSW.

The Courier Mail, 26/9/2007, p. 11

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