Jones sprays Abbott over Shenhua

15 Jul, 2015 03:18 PM
Alan Jones. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
This matter may go to court, but I'll tell you what, all hell has broken loose
Alan Jones. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

IT can't be fun to be on the receiving end of a blast from Alan Jones.

But that's the position Prime Minister Tony Abbott found himself in on Wednesday, when the broadcaster told his listeners on radio station 2GB that the Abbott government's approval of the Shenhua Watermark coal mine was "disgraceful", "beyond belief", and tantamount to selling their soul to mining.

Beginning an almost 30-minute reprimand of the mine, on the Liverpool Plains in north-western NSW, Jones said he had been deluged with emails after "what can only be described as a disgraceful, but not final, decision by the Abbott government and the Environment Minister (Greg) Hunt".

"The NSW government have the final say on all of this," he said on The Alan Jones Breakfast Show.

"Quite frankly, Tony Abbott and (NSW Premier) Michael Baird are going to have to understand that governments rise and fall, sometimes, on a single issue. And the single issue, about selling this country out to foreign interests, no matter whose interests they are, is now emerging as a massive issue in this country."

He said other open-cut projects in the Hunter Valley looked like a "crater of the moon", and an "industrial wasteland" will be left behind behind when the mine – a "desecration" – closes.

"This matter may go to court, but I'll tell you what, all hell has broken loose," Jones said.

"This is a people revolution and this is not going to be pretty. There has never been rage in Australia like we are seeing on this issue.

"This isn't over. It hasn't even begun. And, frankly, any government that doesn't see the stupidity of this doesn't deserve to be in government."

Abbott didn't appear on Jones' program, but he did speak shortly afterwards to Jones' fellow 2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley during which he said he was satisfied the mine had passed all required tests.

"Now, I can fully understand people being absolutely passionate to protect the Liverpool Plains. I've been on the Liverpool Plains, they're some of the best farming area in this country," he said.

"Mining and agriculture have coexisted for 100-odd years in this country, they can and should continue to coexist in the future.

"As all the science tells us, it's not going to have an impact on the water table. And frankly, if it's not going to damage the farming areas, if it is going to bring billions of dollars worth of economic activity and hundreds of ongoing jobs, I think we should say 'let's go with it'."

During an interview with Jones in June, Abbott slammed wind farms, saying they were "visually awful, they make a lot of noise".

2GB is owned by Fairfax Media, the publisher of Celsius, where this story originally appeared.

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15/07/2015 6:11:26 PM

The fight to retain the integrity of the liverpool Plains for Ag use equates that of retaining the wilderness areas of western Tasmania. The broader community need to stand up and say NO!
15/07/2015 6:11:29 PM

The fight to retain the integrity of the liverpool Plains for Ag use equates that of retaining the wilderness areas of western Tasmania. The broader community need to stand up and say NO!
15/07/2015 7:35:36 PM

Mr Abbott only believes the'science' when it suits him, time for a new 'Australian' political party.
16/07/2015 6:27:25 AM

Jones is right; this is shaping up to be the straw that broke the camel's back in that Australians are becoming very tired of losing our assets to offshore interests. I believe we're already a net importer of food. Crazy stuff. With wind farms; proponents that build them are heavily subsidised by the mug punter taxpayer and want the money to continue. Turbines operate on kinetic energy behind the blades and can only achieve a max 40-50% efficiency from that energy driving the blades. They operate around 20% efficiency. Not much bang for the public buck there. Plus they look bloody terrible.
16/07/2015 6:29:51 AM

The fault lies with the NSW government not with the Abbott government. Greg Hunt could not possibly disapprove the mine as they had met everything that had been asked of them. You can't have your cake and eat it too. I used to like Alan Jones but he runs with the fox and hunts with the hounds, so I have changed my mind.
16/07/2015 6:32:43 AM

I have voted Liberal all my life, but Tony Abbot has to be the worst Prime Minister we have ever had. He does not care about Australian Farmers, or the environment. He is a blot on the landscape
16/07/2015 7:15:07 AM

The sale of this mine to the Chinese is wrong and it shows how desperate for money the Govt must be to pay the bills. These are the bills we can now no longer afford to pay thanks very much to the large debt the Labor Govt left us with.
16/07/2015 7:18:38 AM

this will cost tony abbot his job,if he goes ahead minning liverpool plains.all agriculture land should be protected. and not allowed to be sold or split up to build houses on.its happening everywhere.we need good strong leaders who care for our assets.never interfer with our water
16/07/2015 8:04:44 AM

I have never particularly agreed or liked Alan Jones's style- but full marks to him here! Tony Abbott thinks windfarms are a blight on the landscape- what does he think these coalmines are? destroying our prime producing farm lands- BIG HINT- the one thing we cant produce any more of is prime farming land- dont destroy it! Protect it! think again on mining!
16/07/2015 8:12:53 AM

Rise & rise again till lambs become lions .
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