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Greens call for probe into mining body's 'nasty attack' ads

Decision 2020

The Queensland Greens want the state’s mining lobby to be investigated for running advertisements against the party in the state election.

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Greens MP Michael Berkman has asked the Electoral Commission of Queensland to probe the Queensland Resources Council’s “vote the Greens last” ads.

He says the QRC is not registered as a third party in the campaign so the ads could be illegal.

“It appears the QRC has breached the Queensland Electoral Act after failing to register and disclose thousands of dollars in campaign expenditure in their nasty attacks on the Greens,” Berkman said on Friday.

“The QRC appears to be so terrified of the Greens that they’re even willing to break the law just to try and stop us from making them pay their fair share in mining royalties.”

Major companies BHP and Origin Energy earlier this week suspended their QRC memberships because of the lobby group’s anti-Greens ads.

South32 and Anglo American are also reconsidering their association with the organisation.

All four companies have said they want the QRC to focus on policy advocacy rather than targeting a political party.

The Greens hold the seat of Maiwar in Queensland parliament and are pushing for two more – South Brisbane and McConnel – at the October 31 state election.

Their support could be vital for the next government and one of their signature policies is increasing mining royalties.

“No wonder BHP and Origin have split from the QRC – they want no part of an organisation that is not only out of step with ordinary Queenslanders but may have actually broken the law,” Berkman said.

“The vast majority of Queenslanders agree with our plan to raise royalties on mining corporations to invest in health, education and jobs, and no amount of unlawful campaigning will stop us.”

Comment is being sought from the QRC.

-AAP

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