Capricornia MP Michelle Landry has blasted other political parties for falsely claiming credit for yesterday’s pledge that no landholder in the Shoalwater Bay district will be ‘forced’ to sell their properties to Defence.
The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Marise Payne gave the assurance following on-going representation from Ms Landry, Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd and Mr Joyce.
Ms Landry credited Barnaby Joyce and the National Party for having the greatest influence on achieving the outcome through top-level talks in Canberra.
“It seems every man, woman and their dog want to claim credit for the call made by the Prime Minister yesterday,” Ms Landry said.
“There is all of this garbage being put out from the likes of One Nation and the Labor Party claiming credit for this decision. That’s like saying they won the footy grand final by watching from the sidelines.
“The fact is, that I got Barnaby Joyce to the area to talk direct with farmers. Together, we rallied the National Party in Canberra and Barnaby Joyce helped to persuade his cabinet colleagues to make a decisive decision to dump Defence’s push for the forced acquisition of farmland,” Ms Landry said.
“Last year, I promised landholders that I would sensibly lobby behind the scenes, to ensure that their concerns were heard at the highest levels of our federal government. I delivered on that promise – and Barnaby Joyce and the Nationals helped to deliver a good outcome.”
Day after day Ms Landry – a National Party MP - was in contact with the Deputy Prime Minister, Prime Minister and Defence Minister about the issue.
Ms Landry said claims by One Nation and Labor that they caused yesterday’s decision was simply political grandstanding.
“One Nation and Labor were not effective or present at any negotiations. Barnaby Joyce and I and Ken O’Dowd sat around the table with the Prime Minister and Defence Minister. I didn’t see Brittaney Lauga or Bill Byrne there!” Ms Landry said.
“Lauga and Byrne called in their union thugs from the Meat Worker Union to scream abuse. History at Lakes Creek abattoir shows that the Meat Workers Union is no friend of our cattle industry – having disrupted the meat processing over many decades in Rockhampton.
“The Labor MPs were just trying to shore up a topic for the upcoming state election to cover up the fact they refuse to support the construction of Rookwood Weir and 2,100 new jobs.”