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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
29 May 1998
The Labor Party's stance on the Port Hinchinbrook development has been exposed as breathtaking hypocrisy following support for the project by Queensland Opposition leader Peter Beattie.
It follows hot on the heels of Mr Beattie's admission of Labor's sneaky tactics on the Wik 10 Point Plan - complain about it at a Federal level but tell the people of Queensland a Beattie government would accept it.
Mr Beattie has now said a Queensland Labor government would allow the Port Hinchinbrook development to proceed.
This stance flies in the face of the mock outrage displayed by his Federal colleagues Duncan Kerr and John Faulkner.
Mr Kerr has repeatedly called for work on the project to be stopped.
Senator Faulkner has told the Senate that "significant damage will be done to the adjoining world heritage area as a consequence" of work continuing. (Hansard 19/11/97)
Senator Faulkner and Mr Kerr must immediately denounce Mr Beattie's backing of the project or state that they really do accept his view that the project should proceed.
Or perhaps it is Mr Beattie who should be denouncing Federal Labor's pretence of opposition to this project.
There are only two possible explanations for this difference in stance - either Mr Beattie is prepared to tell the people of Queensland anything to get elected, or that the Federal Labor Party's supposed opposition to this project has been a pathetic farce played out for the benefit of the conservation movement.
Labor can no longer be allowed to play out this deception on the people of Queensland.
It will also be most interesting to hear the response of groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation to Mr Beattie's comments.
Media contact - Matt Brown on 0419 693 515
May 29, 1998