IF you were unsure where shock jock Alan Jones stood on the Shenhua mine debate – audio from a brutal 2GB radio interview with Premier Gladys Berejiklian this morning should remove all doubt.
“I can only say to you: You have put your head in a noose. And my view is: once the truckies and farmers start, that noose will be tightened,” Jones told Ms Berejiklian live on air.
Jones, a long-time anti-Shenhua voice, shouted down any effort The Premier made to put a positive spin on government’s $250 million refund and scaling down of the Chinese Mining company’s project on the Liverpool Plains.
Instead he demanded she cancel the exploration licence entirely.
Any attempt Ms Berejiklian made to repeat the fact Shenhua had not been granted a mining licence, that the former Labor state government had granted the exploration licence in the first place, and that farmland on the Liverpool Plains “had been saved”, was met with outright derision.
Among Jones’ many colourful soundbites were claims government was “unprecedentedly stupid”, that Ms Berejiklian “had not done her homework or read the reports” and that “the Shenhua rubbish has the potential to bring down her government”.
A few choice excerpts:
Berejiklian: We looked at every option we had, the company had demonstrated time and time again in that eight year period they had attempted to mine, the reason they hadn't been able to was because we had stopped them at every turn. That is why we were not able to reduce the amount the taxpayers...
Jones: Rubbish. That proved why they shouldn't be there.
Jones: How big is the disturbance area that you have approved?
Berejiklian: We haven't approved a mining licence. There is no mining licence.
Jones: It is an exploration area. If the exploration licence goes ahead how big is the disturbance area?
Berejiklian: Well I'm not going to talk about hypotheticals
Jones: You don't know! Well I'll tell you: 14 times the size of greater London! How deep will the pits be? The mining pits.
Berejiklian: They've not applied for a mining licence. They don't have a mining licence.
Jones: Oh stop carrying on. Well cancel the whole show! The holes in the ground, Gladys, will be 8000 acres and 280ft deep - I don't give a continental where you put them, they shouldn't be there!
Berejiklian: They have no mining licence Alan.
Jones: Well cancel the thing today! I can't listen to this stupidity.
Berejiklian: Alan there is no mining happening on the Liverpool Plains - that's the good news.
Jones: Gladys if you say that once more I've better things to do with my day. That is the only line you can justify today. You haven't done your homework. You haven't read the reports.
Berejiklian: I don't want people to be fearful of something that hasn't happened.
Jones: They are very fearful. Today you should say it won't happen, get out of the way or turn it into farming. They've got 50,000 acres
Berejiklian: Alan we have looked at every opportunity.
Jones: You haven't looked every opportunity, you haven't looked at cancelling the thing, get them out of there.
Berejiklian: Alan this has been going on for a number of years. Yesterday was unprecedented by government given all the legal issues we face.
Jones: Unprecedentedly stupid.
Berejiklian: If you speak to any lawyer, anyone in town they will tell you we had no option under the circumstances. In fact this is the only option we had. This is why we took our time to make this decision. We have spoken to the farmers, we've spoken to the councils, we've spoken to the mayors, we've spoken to many people and all of them are please with we did yesterday. Of course there is more to do.
Jones: I can only say to you: You have put your head in a noose. And my view is: once the truckies and farmers start, that noose will be tightened.
Berejiklian: Well we've saved the Plains. We'll agree to disagree.