‘We’re in lockstep here with the CFMMEU,’ chortled far-right Minister for Resources Matt Canavan on Monday, delighted by the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union’s threat to pull support from Labor candidates across Queensland unless they back the Adani coal mine.

This is history repeating itself.

In 2004 the issue was Tasmania’s forests. Despite better compensation offered from Latham’s Labor Party to protect World Heritage forests from logging and burning, the CFMEU, with red flags flying, crowded the stage at Launceston’s Albert Hall to cheer Prime Minister Howard to victory.

Howard won a majority in both houses and rammed through the Workplace Relations Amendment Act which restricted unions and reduced benefits and conditions for workers across Australia. He then set up the Australian Building and Construction Commission which busted conventional rights for the CFMMEU’s own members.

The CFMMEU’s threat to bring down Labor candidates in 2019 shows it has learned nothing. Like Howard, Morrison couldn’t be happier. And billionaire Guatam Adani, whose proposed mine in the Galilee Basin would provide the
infrastructure for a series of other highly-mechanised, jobs-poor coal mines, must think the CFMMEU is his godsend.

Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is half dead, in great measure from the burning of coal. The CFMMEU pulling the rug from under the 60,000 jobs dependent on the reef. The union is also being reckless as to how far another three years of far-right governance will not only worsen the impacts of climate change but will set back workers’ rights and conditions right across Australia.

Bob Brown.
PO Box 83,
Tasmania. 7112.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

The Saturday Paper: The Stop Adani Convoy