'If you shut down the mining industry you shut down jobs'
UPDATE: Political figures from opposing sides of the convoy have expressed their thoughts on today's coal mining rally.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen and Federal leader of the United Australia Party Clive Palmer were present to showcase their support of the mining sector. Bob Brown also spoke to the hundreds who joined his Stop Adani convoy.
Mr Palmer said manufacturing sectors in Australia were built on value-adding to Queensland resources and as coal mining was Queensland's biggest export was crucial to future sustainability.
After the Mackay rally, Mr Christensen said if the future of coal mining was prevented the future of Mackay families would also be in jeopardy.
"This is a very strong stand from the people of Mackay and the people of central Queensland. They have had hundreds of people turn out, most of whom have never turned out to a protest rally in their lives … and I understand there are about 1000 people who have turned out to support mining jobs out at Clermont today," he said.
"People are fired up, the fact there is a convoy of people who have come from down south into our community and dictate to us - people aren't happy about that.
"The fact is if you shut down the coal sector in Australia we would just have the industry replaced with one overseas and it would happen extremely quickly. The demand is there for the coal, and what would happen is a place in Africa, Asia or even Russia might jump up and open up a new Basin and pump out more coal.
"If you shut down the mining industry you shut down mining jobs, you shut down all the indirect jobs - you basically shut down our economy."
The Stop Adani movement embarked for Clermont at about 11am. Before leaving, Mr Brown said future generations were reliant on the environment and there was a massive extinction of fellow species underway fostered and fuelled by the burning of coal and climate change.
"A very big part of the resource sector, much bigger than coal in terms of employment, is the Great Barrier Reef which is showing off to the world perhaps the largest living entity on the planet," he said.
"There are good alternatives to coal, thermal coal can be replaced but there is no alternative to the Great Barrier Reef.
"Your kids, like everybody's kids, depend on a secure future but as you can see from the Townsville floods … the drying out of the Murray-Darling Basin, the bush fires which are getting worse every year in this country.
"We've got to change direction, because this is a recipe for stealing up to 20 per cent of the income of those children when they get to my age."
UPDATE: Family futures were a hotly debated issue when the Stop Adani campaign arrived in Mackay this morning.
Hundreds of supporters on both sides of the coal mining argument came together, and many have expressed their concerns for their children and grandchildren's future.
Bob Brown joined his contingent of supporters and rallied for the cause, while Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen was there in support of the mining sector.
Stop Adani supporter Pam Purton travelled with the Stop Adani movement from Yeppoon and has been actively involved with the campaign for two years.
Coming from a region which also has a strong mining presence, she said it could be difficult to talk to people about their point of view but her continued advocacy for the cause was still driven by sustaining the environment.
"We just want to have a future, and we feel if this mine starts it will start a precedent for other mines to start in the Galilee Basin," Ms Purton said.
"The more emissions we put out from coal mines the less chance we have to rectify climate change.
"It's not just for my family, it's for the families in the future - it's not just for me, it's for our planet."
Mr Tanner has worked in the mining sector for 36 years and is currently a client support manager for G&S Engineering. His son and son-in-law also work in the mines.
He said the resources downturn proved how important the mining industry was to the nation's economy, and Mackay would crumble should it lose the economic rewards of the sector.
"Three years ago Mackay was a very dead town, there were 2800 houses for rent and had a very scary economy happening here," Mr Tanner said.
'We had the mining boom come back again, it has picked up and there are so many more people in town.
"Houses are being built up, companies are opening - the whole place is just booming and flourishing.
"I do not understand why these people want to take away the mining industry which is supporting everybody in this town and everybody in the country."
EARLIER: ADVOCATES for coal mining and Adani's Carmichael Mine are awaiting the arrival of the Bob Brown's Stop Adani Convoy at Jubilee Park.
The convoy is expected to arrive at 10am, and coal mining supporters have been in preparation for their arrival. United Australia Party leader Clive Palmer in attendance to voice his support of the mining sector.
Lyn Kenny, a supporter of coal mining in the region, was at the event early with a support the Galilee shirt on and and signs in hand.
She said the industry was crucial for future generations in the region.
"I was in Dysart for 35 years and I saw what it did when they shut down Norwich Park and the town just went back," Ms Kenny said.
"Where is everyone going to live if they shut down these mines, plus my grandchildren - they're in the mining towns too and need jobs when they grow up."
Director of Resource Industry Network Mick Crowe said he wanted rational debate with protesters against coal mining but the reality was nearly 60 per cent of the GDP came from the industry.
He said it was important the nation capitalised on its economic strengths and that made coal mining a focal sector.
"Our industry, our communities and our jobs matter and we want representation that supports us while we continue to be some of the best in the world from what we do," Mr Crowe said.
"There's not a job in this region, a piece of infrastructure, a school, a hospital - there's not anything that is not in some way funded by (coal).
"People who think this about Adani are wrong, this is about turning off this industry and turning off Australian number 1 export - that will effect every Australia.
"Coal is our top export, if you take that away what's going to replace it? If you don't replace it, what happens to the standard of living of all Australians?"
The Stop Adani convoy will arrive in Mackay shortly.