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Christensen condemned for speech about ‘eco-terrorists’

By Mark Beale

FEDERAL MP George Christensen has again come under the spotlight for his comments about environmental groups.

In a speech to the Parliament last week, Mr Christensen described those who continued to oppose the Abbot Point expansion, despite winning the offshore dredge dumping war, as “gutless green grubs” and “eco-terrorists”.

“The greatest terrorist threat in North Queensland it’s sad to say, comes from the extreme green movement and when I say extreme greens I’m not talking about ordinary community groups or individuals who genuinely care about and work to improve the environment, or the locals who have genuine concerns about the impacts of certain projects – what I’m talking about is the large, well-funded, well-organised, eco-terrorists, who use fear and blackmail to coerce the government and the public into adopting their extreme political and ideological viewpoints,” he said on September 24.

“Today I put the extreme greens on notice – North Queensland will not bow down to these eco-terrorists.”

Since making this speech, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to discipline the MP and the Senate has passed a Greens’ motion calling on him to withdraw his comments.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters said Mr Christensen was being “incredibly insulting” to everyone who cared about the Great Barrier Reef, including people in the fishing and tourism industries who relied on it for their livelihood.

“Mr Christensen is referring to people who oppose the industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef as terrorists and in the current climate that is utterly unacceptable, wrong and incredibly dangerous and irresponsible,” she said.

AMCS campaign director Felicity Wishart, said Mr Christensen’s comments were deeply disturbing and totally unacceptable at any time, but more so given Australia’s heightened security environment.

“The Prime Minister has been urging all Australians to remain calm in the face of increased terrorism threats. He needs to ensure his own MPs do not contribute to an environment of fear and aggression,” she said.

“Mr Christensen has made his commitment to the Abbot Point coal port expansion well known. In a democracy everyone has a right to express their views.”

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