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MJ: We need more than hot air to fix power and jobs

ALL TALK: Let's ground the hot air and do something worthwhile.
ALL TALK: Let's ground the hot air and do something worthwhile. ROB JINMAN
MJ on Sat'day: Telling it like it is in Gladstone
MJ on Sat'day: Telling it like it is in Gladstone Centro Art

WHY a hot air balloon on this page?

No, it doesn't represent my head or any part of my body for that matter.

This is what you could have created if you'd harnessed all the hot air that came from politicians visiting Gladstone this week.

We had no less than three senators here during the week talking to industry about power prices with a bit of concern for our Aurizon workers.

What do you reckon will come of all that? (See picture again).

I've heard the 'round table' talk in Gladstone about power prices affecting industry in our town was so highly thought about that one of our big industries sent a cleaner as its representative.

I'm not totally sure everyone even bothered to turn up to hear what these three senators had to say or offer.

A few of them might have had more pressing matters, like an important clean-up of their desks, a morning tea, or maybe they even forgot it was on.

What exactly was done for the Aurizon workers?

Oh, Senator Kim Carr 'criticised' the decision from Aurizon to cut 126 jobs from its Gladstone, Bluff and Stanwell depots.

Well, that told them!

Oh, the Victorian senator also said it was "short-sighted" and he "didn't agree with the approach the company was taking".

Wow, they'd be really quaking in their boots now.

I can see the Aurizon boss now, talking to his PA.

He or she might be saying to get on the phone to the workshop now and tell all the workers they'd change their mind.

He or she would say they are that worried they've had a senator criticise them and say he doesn't agree with us.

... what was his name again?

PREVIOUSLY | MJ on Sat'day

>> MJ: Gladstone: It's a gas, gas gas

>> MJ: Our daggy main drag

>> MJ: I'm not just common, I've got some sense

The Labor Senator did give out some rhetoric about governments needing to spend $45billion on rail infrastructure or something like that.

Not sure where that $45billion got plucked from but it's certainly an impressive figure.

Oh, and he did draw a comparison between Aurizon and the situation at the NRG power station. Yes, that's right, something about the short term again.

Well, the short term situation is that Aurizon workers are losing their jobs, the NRG power station is locked in a drawn-out impasse and our power prices keep going up.

Meanwhile, I'm still paying 90 cents a day just to have my meter read, I'm still paying too much for my gas when I jump in and out of the shower for my very quick clean.

What do these senators actually do or what can they actually do?

It might not even be their fault ... the system may be set up that are largely ineffectual and irrelevant, especially when they are in Opposition.

When it comes to the problems in Gladstone in regards to jobs and electricity, we need more than just rhetoric.

The power problem is destined to become forever bogged in the renewable energy versus coal and gas argument with too many vested interests.

Yes, we can't afford to walk away from our coal mines and gas companies. There's thousands and thousands of jobs tied up in these industries.

We don't need federal senators blowing in and blowing up big balloons to tell us that. We now need our State Government to really manage this energy situation.

The balance of renewables and traditional power sources is a tricky balancing act but one Annastacia and her troupe has to master.

Just like South Australia, we need to take the power bull by the horns and stake our claims on a sustainable future on the power front.

Topics:  mj on satday



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