IPSWICH MP Ian Berry has cracked jokes about a giant billboard in Bundamba attacking his attitude to workers and spent time yesterday posing in front of it.
The 'Not 4 Sale' campaign sign slams Mr Berry for "failing to support local jobs" at Swanbank E Power Station after 33 workers were made redundant at the government-owned Stanwell facility.
Mr Berry laughed at the sign yesterday.
"Did you see my sign?" he joked.
"I was down there this morning and I texted my kids and I said, 'It is bloody disgraceful. The sign is far too small. I'm in black and white, when I should be in colour. And I've got a cross across my face. How can people properly see me?'
"Campbell Newman called me when I was down there.
"He said, 'Make sure you tell everybody there are no forced redundancies'.
"I said I was onto it.
"If I had that job (at Stanwell) and got three weeks for every year I worked there and no forced redundancy ... it is not a bad job I tell you."
Electrical Trades Union state secretary Peter Simpson, whose organisation is backing the 'Not 4 Sale' campaign, said Mr Berry had "spat in the face" of workers and called him "a weirdo".
Mr Simpson said his marketing manager Glenn Seage found Mr Berry posing in front of the billboard earlier in the day.
"He drove down to take a photo of it for proof of posting, and Berry was standing in the front of it with his phone up to his ear waving his arms around," Mr Simpson said.
"I don't know the man, but I don't want to know him after that. He is a disgrace.
"He has spat in the face of our guys out there and we are not happy about it.
"He is the local member and a lot of our guys that work at the station live in his electorate.
"He called them a protected species (in yesterday's QT).
"This is 33 people without a livelihood."
Mr Berry said Stanwell was "a government-owned corporation and they have an obligation and duty to maximise their profits".
He said the company's decision to close the plant was based on economics.
"The problem is that other people are prepared to buy our gas for double what it is worth in Queensland," he said.
"At the moment we are making 12,000 megawatts of electricity and consuming 7000 megawatts.
"In other words, we do not need the gas. But we have heaps and heaps of coal for Tarong.
"All Stanwell are doing is making a commercial decision to minimise the costs.
"And we are talking 30 workers if we are lucky.
"Do we hold Queensland to ransom for millions of dollars over 30 workers?"
But Mr Simpson said Swanbank was "one of the most efficient and most green power stations in the world".
"They have won award after award for productivity," he said.
"This has nothing to do with productivity and everything to do with ideology, and 33 families are going to cop the brunt of it."
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