One Nation candidate claims preference deal could doom coal
AFTER a week from hell for the One Nation Party, their Capricornia candidate Wade Rothery has warned that coal mining was "doomed" if his party didn't win the balance of power.
Following revelations from an Al Jazeera investigation showing key members of the One Nation Party allegedly seeking foreign donations in exchange for watering down Australia's gun laws, the party was punished on how-to-vote preferences by Labor (at the bottom) and Liberal parties (below Labor).
As Capricornia MP Michelle Landry's LNP was not bound by Prime Minister Scott Morrison's decision on preferences, she would decide how to preference ONP after the election was called.
Mr Rothery, who has worked for 12 years in the coal industry, said he was inundated with phone calls from workers and families who were in limbo because of this "Liberal, Labor preference deal", "dumbfounded by the Prime Minister's decision to preference Labor ahead of One Nation".
He said his colleagues feared for their future following the Labor party's commitment to transition away from coal, stop thermal coal mines and close down coal-fired power stations.
He said the Queensland Minerals and Energy Sector accounts for one in eight jobs in Queensland, contributing $29.1 billion to the state's economy.
"You can kiss goodbye thousands of these jobs throughout Capricornia as a result of this poorly thought-out preference deal by the Liberals," he said.
"The best advice I can offer people is to avoid taking how-to-vote cards at this election and make an informed decision on the future of our region."
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson will decide how to allocate preferences guided by "what is right for the country and its people".
Ms Landry said while Mr Rothery was quite right in highlighting the importance of the coal mining sector to Central Queensland, that's where the accuracy ended.
"Mr Rothery needs to spend less time worrying about preferences that won't be counted and more time explaining why his party would try to garner millions from foreign gun lobbyists," Ms Landry said.
"I am ... campaigning to ensure my voters' preferences aren't counted. At the end of the day, it is up to you, the voter where your preferences go. That's why it's important people number every square on their ballot paper."
Labor's Capricornia candidate Russell Robertson disregarded Mr Rothery's accusation, saying he was running to come first.
"I'm interested in getting as many first preference votes as I can," Mr Robertson said.