Alannah MacTiernan to front Collie community at meeting

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Australia Manufacturing and Workers Union State secretary Steve McCartney is hopeful more than 300 members of the Collie community will attend tomorrow’s meeting.
Camera IconAustralia Manufacturing and Workers Union State secretary Steve McCartney is hopeful more than 300 members of the Collie community will attend tomorrow’s meeting. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan will front the Collie community at the latest in a series of union-organised meetings tomorrow.

Australia Manufacturing and Workers Union State secretary Steve McCartney said Ms MacTiernan was well placed to provide answers as the town looked to transition its economy.

“Alannah is the lady with her hand on the money and has the task of working through this so we thought she is an important person to bring down,” he said.

“We’re hoping she can answer some questions, hear what the community wants and gain an understanding of the need to build confidence in the local economy in order to attract investors.”

About 200 concerned members of the community were at the previous meeting in January attended by Energy Minister Bill Johnston.

Some people left the meeting early as tensions flared and people started to yell over the top of one another.

Mr McCartney said there had been extra measures put in place to ensure things ran smoothly.

“We’ll have more people there to make sure if things do get excited we can control it,” he said.

“We’ve also invested in a much better sound system, with roving microphones so people can have their say without yelling.

“We want to make sure there is no aggro because this is an important debate the community should be having and everyone has the right to ask questions – we won’t tolerate any intimidation or harassment.”

He said he hoped more than 300 people would attend the meeting.

“The guys down in Collie have been out talking to companies and small businesses,” he said.

“We also invited both the mining companies to turn up because they are a big player in this – we need them to be out and accountable to the people they are impacting.”

Mr McCartney said he had already spoken to Ms MacTiernan and would brief her further prior to the meeting.

“Other politicians have rung up to say they are important too and we’ve told them we want them to have their say,” he said.

“This isn’t a one-man show — we’re not here for the Labor party, we’re here for the town.

“The more opinions and the more consensus we get around the table the more chance we have to make a just transition.”

The meeting starts 5.30pm at the Collie Music Shell.

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