Greg Hunt.
Greg Hunt.

Shadow minister ignores Gladstone

GLADSTONE is in the middle of some of the biggest environmental approvals the country has ever seen and the Shadow Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt has snubbed Gladstone.

The Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey told The Observer two weeks ago that he would expect Mr Hunt to come to Gladstone and he would expect so before the election.

The Observer contacted the opposition environmental spokesperson yesterday regarding final approvals of the environmental impacts for liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects on Curtis Island, however, Mr Hunt left the Gladstone Liberal National Party-endorsed candidate Ken O'Dowd to answer the question as to whether he is coming to Gladstone.

“Unfortunately we haven't had enough time to bring him here. He will be in Gladstone after the election,” Mr O'Dowd said.

The no-show has raised questions as to the ability of the Coalition in assessing environmental impact statements.

When Mr Hockey was in town he said the Coalition would approve LNG developments on Curtis Island “as soon as possible”.

“I don't know why Mr Garrett chose to delay the decision,” Mr Hockey said.

The Federal Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson was in Gladstone yesterday and said for any minister or shadow minister to suggest that they can shorten those approval timelines was deliberately misleading the local community.

“I'm not the Environment Minister,” Mr Ferguson said.

“I'm the Minister for Resources and I've worked with BG and Santos. I would love to see the environmental approvals as soon as possible, but I cannot determine those time lines.

“It's not my act and I have no influence of the time lines nor has Wayne Swan and nor has Joe Hockey.”

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