From Singleton Argus: Barnaby Joyce enters NSW state election campaign by declaring his support for coalminers
As a part of the Nationals pre-election drive to build new coal-fired power stations, Barnaby Joyce came to Singleton to make the announcement on Tuesday.
“I will stand up and fight for coalminers,” said Barnaby Joyce during a visit to Singleton yesterday to support The Nationals’ Michael Johnsen who is seeking re-election for the seat of Upper Hunter in this month’s state election.
“But I am prepared to stand up and fight for the people of Singleton and Muswellbrook because they need jobs and incomes and the coal industry does just that and will continue to provide jobs and good incomes,” he said.
“I simply can’t understand why we export cheap power to consumers in Asia by way of thermal coal exports but at the same time as we are not allowed to use our coal to produce cheap power in Australia.
“If we want zero emissions base load energy then we should use nuclear power.”
However, there was a surprise waiting for them in front of the Michael Johnsen office. Volunteers from other political parties gathered to protest against The Nationals plans and their fake concern for the miners.
Commenting on the latest twist in the campaign for Upper Hunter Country Labor candidate Melanie Dagg said mining families and the wider community in the Hunter are not fooled by Michael Johnsen.
It is clear that Barnaby Joyce and Michael Johnsen only care about their own jobs, not those of miners and other workers in the Hunter.
“The Liberals and Nationals, including Michael Johnsen, voted to sell or give away coal fired power stations. Then they tried to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money to buy them back,” she said.
“If Michael Johnsen really cared about jobs in the Hunter region he would address the creeping casualisation of jobs in the NSW coal mining industry, and the downward slide of working conditions. The eroding of secure jobs and conditions is putting enormous strain on families across our community.“If Michael Johnsen really cared about jobs in the Hunter region he would be pushing back on the “fly-in fly-out” contracts which strip mining communities of secure local jobs and decimate the local businesses that rely on those jobs.”
This is the reality for the upcoming state and federal elections – the electorate is divided, people are hurting, business, as usual, will no longer cut it.