Liberal MP Scot MacDonald projects his own methods in attack on Greens

Liberal MP Scot MacDonald projects his own methods in attack on Greens

3 April 2014

Projecting: Liberal MP Scot MacDonald is very close to the coal seam gas industry

Projecting: Liberal MP Scot MacDonald is very close to the coal seam gas industry

Last Thursday Liberal MP Scot MacDonald used an opinion piece to attack the Greens for engaging with country communities.

Mr MacDonald slanders me and my media adviser Max Phillips (who is also a Marrickville Councillor) accusing us of using personal denigration and scaremongering and of believing that mining is an ‘inferior’ occupation.  This is all nonsense and Scot MacDonald provides no evidence whatsoever.

Instead, MacDonald demonstrates his own hypocrisy.  He does in black and white, exactly what he accuses us of doing.

Mr MacDonald accuses us of using “personal denigration.” Then goes on to say without any foundation: “They [Marrickville Greens or Jeremy Buckingham] won’t be members of the local Rotary Club. You won’t see them training a junior footy or netball team. You won’t see them when the next bushfire or flood occurs.

Wrong!  I have indeed coached children’s sport.  We may well assist with flood and bushfire.

Mr MacDonald then says “Scaremongering is their weapon of choice. Mr Buckingham preys on the genuine concerns and desire for information to polarise communities.”

He then scaremongers saying mining “can mean the difference between our hospitals and schools staying open or closing”.  Um, Scot, threatening the closure of hospital and schools could be considered scaremongering!

The truth is Scot MacDonald is rabidly pro-mining and pro-coal seam gas. His statement in a parliamentary inquiry report makes this clear: “It is difficult to reach any other conclusion than the coal seam gas industry should be developed as quickly as possible.”

Only a few days after the inquiry reported, Mr MacDonald accepted gift of flights to, and accommodation in Tasmania from coal seam gas company Santos to speak at a forum alongside Santos officials on the issue coal seam gas and agriculture.  This was referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

According to the Australian Electoral Commission data, the Liberal Party has accepted $463,730 in donations from Santos since 1999.

Two ex-leaders of the National Party have chaired coal and gas companies.  John Anderson chaired Eastern Star Gas, while Mark Vaile chaired Aston Resources and, post-merger, now chairs Whitehaven Coal.

Scot MacDonald also underestimates country people.  They know how to sort the wheat from the chaff.  They can do their own research.  They are not easily fooled.

The Greens are engaging with country people and working together to protect the land, water and communities from the threat of mining and coal seam gas.  We respect their intelligence and independence.  In fact, many Greens are country people.

There is a lot of concern about the effects of mining and coal seam gas.  The fact that Santos was fined for contaminating an aquifer with uranium at 20 times drinking water standards, as well as salt, and a range of heavy metals such as arsenic and lead, demonstrates that these concerns are valid.

Country Liberals like MacDonald and the National Party have become stooges of the big mining companies.  It should be no surprise that country people wish to hear a different perspective.

Jeremy Buckingham is a Greens MP in the Legislative Council and the party’s spokesperson for mining and agriculture.


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