A sign is seen at a meeting about New Acland stage three lack of approvals, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer
A sign is seen at a meeting about New Acland stage three lack of approvals, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer

CFMMEU pulls financial support for ALP over New Acland

RANK and file members of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union have decided to pull financial support from the Australian Labor Party ahead of the Queensland election.

President of the CFMMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland Steve Smyth said the matter, which stemmed from grassroots anger over the ALP's reluctance to approve the New Acland Coal Mine's Stage 3 expansion, was put to a vote and passed at the union's quadrennial convention in Rockhampton this week.

Mr Smyth said the union was fed up with the way the New Acland expansion, and New Acland workers, were being treated.

"We're calling on the Government to approve it and get on with business, because there are real jobs being lost and there's an effect on the local economy," Mr Smyth said.

"And we still cannot understand why and on what basis they do not want to approve it."

The New Acland Stage 3 expansion has been tied up in a series of legal battles with the Oakey Coal Action Alliance since 2015, the most recent of which landed in the High Court last month.

The State Government has refused to make a decision on the mine's outstanding approvals until all court matters are finalised.

Mr Smyth said the State Government's position had resulted in the union "making it quite clear we don't intend to support the party".

He said the union may support individual ALP candidates who had the same values as the union, such as Burdekin candidate Mike Brunker.

"But we're calling on the Premier (to approve the expansion). She's the one who can tick off on this."

Mr Smyth said locally, CFMMEU members had told him they would not be supporting ALP candidate for Toowoomba North Megan O'Hara Sullivan.

"They would if she comes on board and supports them and stands up for them around New Acland, but I'd say at this point in time they won't be," he said.


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