Abbot flies into Mackay

TONY Abbott - the man who would be Prime Minister - has made a flying visit to Mackay.

Before getting to matters mining, Mr Abbott was quick to quash comments by former Prime Minister John Howard about industrial relations reform and that poison chalice known as Work Choices.

"John Howard was two prime ministers ago," Mr Abbott said.

"John Howard is three Liberal leaders ago. That was then, this is now, there is no going back to the past."

Introducing his leader, Member for Dawson George Christensen said feedback from Mackay region business had suggested there was a slowdown in the mining industry.

"We are feeling the squeeze here in Mackay," Mr Christensen said.

"Last week Julia Gillard's Resources Minister came out and said the boom was over.

"I don't think the white flag should be waved. What needs to be waived is the mining tax, the carbon tax and all the rest of the imposts that are put on industry."

Mr Christensen said should the Coalition be given the honour of governing, these were examples of policy that would change.

Speaking after a tour of a mining services engineering workshop at Paget, Mr Abbott repeated his well-worn mantras on both the mining and carbon taxes.

He said the carbon tax was emblematic of the government and "more a python squeeze than a cobra strike".

"It will hurt from day one and just get worse and worse as time goes on," he said.

"It is absolutely in character with this untrustworthy and incompetent government."

Asked if the thought the approval of the Alpha coal mine was a sign the resource industry was in good health, Mr Abbott was coy.

"At current levels of tax, at current levels of cost, at current dollar values, at current commodity prices, it's very hard to justify new investment in Australia," he said

"Now I want to improve that, I want the mining boom to continue. The Coalition's plan involves scrapping the carbon tax, scrapping the mining tax and getting prices down by restoring the Australian Building and Construction Commission."


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