Gladstone MP maintains dignity during camp furore
GLADSTONE MP Liz Cunningham was one of the few who managed to maintain some dignity during a fiery session in state parliament over Jo-Ann Miller's comments likening mining camps to concentration camps.
It was standing room only on the moral high-ground as Parliament ground to a halt so the government could rain condemnation on the Opposition, continuing to attack the Labor mines spokeswoman Jo-Ann Miller.
Through the arguing, Mrs Cunningham was able to escape the political point scoring and maintain some dignity.
"I think any of us who try to equate living conditions in Australia with those faced by people involved in particularly the first and second world war, but any subsequent conflict - I think we fail to have an understanding of exactly what those people faced," she said.
"A member regrettably compared mining camps concentration camps and I think that is not only a poor comparison but it is a wrong comparison.
"It fails to take into account the trauma and tragedy those people experienced, the cost of war and the price of our freedom."
Representing an electorate with a number of mining camps, Mrs Cunningham said she had not personally had complaints about what was available at the camps.
"Certainly there are difficulties for communities with fly-in fly-out and the economic impact it has on the community," she said.
"It differs depending on where the camp is and how big the camp is.
"Having said that, I am sure that there are people who reside in those camps who feel constrained, depending on where the camp is and what the camp's rules and regulations are.
"I am sure that there are people who are very happy with their lodgings, there are those who would have concerns and there are those who perhaps would be very unhappy with what they are offered and the rules and regulations surrounding that."
Mrs Cunningham said anyone who used comparisons to concentration camps had to do so "with a great deal of sensitivity and thought, not only for making our point politically, but also for bringing back to memory for those who have been involved in those conflicts the very things that they have experienced, and the memories and the horrors that they have to carry every day as they try to work for their families and their employers."
Read more about the fiery session of parliament and who said what here.