Convoy organiser hits back at media over Facebook saga
HIGH-profile resistance to the Stop Adani Convoy has emerged as the group make its way across the border into Queensland.
The convoy reached Brisbane today for a rally outside Adani HQ before heading north to Clermont for a "special Galilee event".
Outrage erupted earlier today as the Courier Mail reported a closed Facebook group linked to the Stop Adani Convoy had been using offensive rhetoric in discussions, at one stage comparing coal miners to Nazis.
Convoy leader Dr Bob Brown disassociated himself and the convoy with the comments made on the Facebook group and likened recent reporting to "hate media".
"I absolutely repudiate offensive comments such as those headlined in today's Murdoch press," he said.
"Offensive comments are taken down by our foundation just as they are taken down off Murdoch media sites.
"Our convoy is committed to lawful and peaceful process. Conversely, this opinionated reportage aims to raise anger rather than promote civil discussion."
However, the events sparked fierce opposition from the Queensland pro-coal front, with One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson and Capricornia candidate Wade Rothery making the decision to oppose the convoy on the ground in Clermont.
"I don't blame the people in Clermont for refusing to serve these ratbags who don't know the first thing about mining towns, and how coal mining is the lifeblood of Central Queensland and much of the state," Senator Hanson said.
"You would see towns like Glenden, Moranbah, Tieri and Emerald knocked out, while regional hubs like Rockhampton and Yeppoon would be left worse for wear if mining were phased out."
Resource Minister Matt Canavan drilled home that the convoy was not an accurate representative of the regions' collective stance on coal mining, labelling them a "rent-a-crowd".
"Locals where I live in Central Queensland don't have a lot of time for people telling them what to do," he said.
Adani Australia CEO Lucas Dow said he respected the convoy's right to express their opinion but he believed the pro-Adani camp were the "silent majority".
"We respect people's right to have a different opinion, but we certainly hope when Bob Brown comes through that he gets a clear appreciation for the importance of coal mining for North and Central Queensland," he said.
"I hope that Mr Brown keeps an open mind to other people's perspectives."
"Our team has been really impressed by the groundswell of support we are seeing in support of our project," Mr Dow said.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry's language was not so neutral.
"They're a mob of hypocrites," she said.
" They are coming up here in cars running on petrol, they have mobile phones that are all made with coal and they live in houses with air-conditioning.
"Everything they have is related to coal."
Even local Labor appeared to be onside as one of Russell Robertson's volunteers was spotted at the southern entrance of Rockhampton with a sign that read "Bob Brown take note - your cars are coal built and run - drivers are hypocrites."
The Stop Adani Convoy is expected to arrive in Rockhampton on Wednesday with a lantern event talking place in Emu Park that evening.