Greens reject ALP candidate

by Chris Griffith
Published 17 December 1995 in The Sunday Mail


my face


Mundingburra Greens' candidate Tony Clunies-Ross yesterday defended claims the Greens were overplaying their hand in the by-election and launched an attack on the Green credentials of Labor's replacement candidate, Townsville mayor Tony Mooney.

Mr Clunies-Ross warned the Green Party would find it "extremely difficult" to recommend the flow of preferences to Cr Mooney, given his record on environmental and Aboriginal issues as Mayor of Townsville.

He rejected concern that the small, 18-member Greens' Townsville branch was overplaying its hand and holding the major parties to ransom with its campaign demands.

At the July 15 election, the Queensland Greens' candidate Russell Cumming polled just under 12 percent in Mundingburra -- 33 percent of preferences went to the Coalition, and 39 percent to Labor.

"From discussions I have had with Greens members, this is going to make it extremely difficult for the Greens to give preferences to Labor," Mr Clunies-Ross said

"With Ken Davies or Mike Reynolds there was always some sort of chance.

"Even looking at the better environmental record of the Labor government compared to the Coalition, it would be difficult to give preferences to such an environmentally unfriendly candidate."

Mr Clunies-Ross said Mr Mooney's environmental record included:

  • problems with Townsville's water supply caused by the encouragement of major development and major expansion in the city. Water restrictions were in force all year round;
  • raw sewage leaking into Townsville's major beach on the Strand because the sewage system was not coping;
  • his active encouragement of a zinc refinery in the middle of Townsville which would cause an additional drain on water and power.
"I can't believe they're doing this. Tony Mooney is on the nose in Townsville at the moment," Mr Clunies-Ross said.

"There's people in Brisbane making decisions on what Townsville wants; at the moment Tony Mooney is not wanted."

Mr Clunies-Ross said Cr Mooney was also "totally unsympathetic" to the situation of some Aboriginal people, especially its park people.

He said Cr Mooney had closed Townsville's Hanran park at night and had prohibited drinking in parks so that Aboriginal people would be removed by police.

He said the mayor had also targeted Aboriginal people by passing a by-law preventing people sitting on the ground in parks. "He wants them out of sight and out of mind."

Mr Clunies-Ross welcomed a commitment yesterday by Shadow Attorney-General Denver Beanland that a Coalition Government formed after Mundingburra would repeal a recent amendment to the state's Freedom of Information law which allowed any government document tabled at a Cabinet meeting to be exempt from disclosure.

Last week Greens convener Angela Jones said the issues crucial in the by-election included Keith William's $100 million Port Hinchinbrook development near Cardwell, the Cape York Wilderness zone, vegetation protection orders, and freedom of information law.

However not all conservation groups are supporting the Queensland Greens' position.

Australian Conservation Foundation executive director Jim Downey repeated his organisations position in the July 15 poll last weekend and urged support for Labor in Mundingburra.