CQ senator speaks out on Adani outrage
HE entered the studio via the basement, and was accused of "robbing" young people of their future, but a central Queensland senator said his appearance on a live television debate was "perfectly fine".
Rockhampton-based senator Matthew Canavan attempted to enlighten a Sydney audience on ABC's Q and A program on Monday of the perils facing central and north Queensland.
But mid-way through explaining his support of Adani's $16 billion central Queensland mega mine, a protestor stormed the stage.
The Resources and Northern Australia Minister was told he was "robbing us of our future" by the #StopAdani protestor Michael Dillon.
Within seconds Mr Dillon was whisked away.
"I'm a bit shaken up, bit pumped, I knew it was going to be a dash up on stage to get my letter to Matt Canavan," Mr Dillon said in a video after the event.
Senator Canavan said the letter was taken by the police and he was yet to see it.
The young man was among hundreds of protestors who crowded the Sydney studio before Monday's episode with Stop Adani signs.
Senator Canavan was told to enter the building via the basement to avoid them.
"It's disappointing when people try to disrupt what could have otherwise been a civilised debate," he said.
Senator Canavan, a proud Catholic, was told the main topic for the show was religion.
But the spotlight was firm on Senator Canavan's support for Adani and coal-fired power stations.
Despite the protest and some outrage from the audience, he said his experience was "perfectly fine".
He said his main goal was to explain the "difficult economic times" faced by central Queenslanders.
"All we ask is for people to try to understand the difficulties we are in," he said.
"We've all come from all types of circumstances and I don't expect people from Sydney or Melbourne to understand the issues facing central Queensland.
"But you shouldn't close your mind off from other people's points of view.
"Just like Sydney, we want economic opportunity and progress."
He told the Sydney audience that north and central Queenslanders "overwhelmingly support" the coal mine and rail project.