Opinion Pieces

Check out opinion pieces that Murray Watt has written.


October 24, 2021



Sunday - a day of rest, unless you’re the performing seals in the National Party.

Today, Nationals MPs will gather in Canberra to stage their favourite pantomime, this time on net zero emissions.

For all the threats and tantrums, we know how this play ends – another capitulation to the Liberals, passed off as a win. We’ve seen it all before.

The Nationals – a once proud party, hijacked by fringe accountants and bankers. Who dress up like farmers and miners and then ignore them.

Because if they listened to real farmers and real miners, they would have already committed to net zero emissions by 2050.

The National Farmers Federation, Meat and Livestock Australia, the Minerals Council, Rio Tinto, BHP, Santos, Origin and many more are all on board.

Why? Because they will make more money and create more jobs, especially in regional Queensland.

Regional communities have moved too, with net zero now supported by over 60% of residents in coal communities across Central Queensland.

Across regional Queensland, the tilt train has left the station, but the Nationals are still reading the departure boards.

Of course, there is one man who could fix this mess - Prime Minister Scott Morrison. But once again, he hides in the corner, a mere extra in the pantomime.

Scott “not my job” Morrison. The man who didn’t hold a hose during the bushfires, who stuffed the vaccine rollout, who now doesn’t have the ticker to take a stand on net zero. Even when Queensland jobs, industries and regions are at stake.

Whatever the issue, our Prime Minister just never takes responsibility.

Tragically, his lack of leadership is holding our regions back. Because it’s our regions that are sitting on a gold mine of solar, wind and hydro resources.

That we can turn into cheap, renewable energy. Which can power a rebirth of regional manufacturing. Making more trains and mining machinery here, value adding to our minerals and farm products and grabbing new opportunities like making wind turbines and hydrogen.

But our PM’s failure to lead, with his Nationals colleagues, means they’re sending those jobs offshore, to countries that have already done net zero. Jobs that should be going to Rocky, Gladstone, Mackay and Moranbah.

Sadly, this is not the only way Scott Morrison and his Nationals colleagues have failed the regional communities who’ve faithfully supported them.

After eight years of Liberal-National Government, the Central Queensland electorate of Flynn now has only nine GPs for every 10,000 residents, with other regions not much better.

Aged care is in crisis, with over 100 residential aged care beds lost in regional Queensland in the last year alone.

The PM earns $700 million in interest, on an unspent $4 billion disaster management fund, while regional communities who need help remain vulnerable to cyclones, floods and bushfires.

And for a party that claims to care about mining jobs, the Nationals have cheered on cowboy labour hire firms, who have turned good, permanent coal mining jobs into insecure, casual ones.

Scott Morrison and his team will never change. We have to change the government.

The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, knows what it’s like to struggle.

That’s why Albo’s offering a better life for working families – with cheaper childcare, better health care and fairer pay for women.

Albo wants secure jobs for Queensland workers, where casual miners and others, who work the same job as permanents, get the same pay.

And Albo wants a future made in Australia. By using the Federal Government’s purchasing power to Buy Australian.

The choice is pretty simple.

Albo and Labor are for Queensland jobs, for Queensland families and for Queensland regions.

We’ll leave it to the rest to stage the fake fights that hold our regions back.

This opinion piece was first published in The Sunday Mail on Sunday, 24 October 2021.