COAL SUPPORTER: Slade Point father of seven Damian Herrington is worried about the future for his daughter Brielle, 5, and other children if the coal mining industry shuts down.
COAL SUPPORTER: Slade Point father of seven Damian Herrington is worried about the future for his daughter Brielle, 5, and other children if the coal mining industry shuts down. Emma Murray

Father of seven fears for his kids' future without mining

DAMIAN Herrington is scared for the future his children face without coal mining.

The Slade Point father of seven says policies on jobs, education and certainty in coal mining would decide his vote next month.

"I will not be throwing my vote away at someone who's going to be tearing this industry apart, no way," the Dawson voter said.

"I'm concerned about my kids and their future. I get really angry because it feels like these people (against Adani) are trying to take that away from them."

Marty Bella speaking at the pro-coal event: Marty Bella speaking at the Resource Industry Network counter-rally in support of coal mining.

Mr Herrington runs a pest control business, after recently selling a motel, and he believes coal mining is the heart of the region's economy.

"I know that's not directly related to mining but it all flows on, everything is so interrelated," he said.

"For example, if there's fewer families there's less funding for the schools. I know people unemployed trying to get work in the mines, I know business people who have noticed the slowdown, you feel it in the communities.

"We've got property in Bowen where they are really crying out for jobs. We just see Adani and similar mines as a help to that.

"I think mining these days is responsible, not like 50 years ago when they were ripping the guts out of everything.

"And the mines put so much into the communities and the schools, they're always supporting them financially.

Mick Crowe speaking at the For the Future of Our Regions rally: Mick Crowe from G&S Engineering speaking at the For the Future of Our Regions rally

"When people talk about completely shutting down this industry, what do we replace it with? What's going to come up with that kind of money, security? I don't see anything that's going to fill that gap even in the distant future."

Courtney Vickery, 31, wants to look towards a party she feels looks to the future.

But she relies on the mining industry to put food on the table and cannot envisage how policies from the more left-leaning parties can work.

The Commercial Hotel Clermont, during the Protest of the Bob Brown led Anti Adani Convoy, on the Herschel St near the show grounds, Clermont, on Saturday April 27th, 2019.
The Commercial Hotel Clermont, during the protest against the Bob Brown led Anti Adani Convoy, on the Herschel St near the show grounds, Clermont, on Saturday. Steve Pohlner/AAP

The Homebush mother of five children, aged four to 13, looks at the nine Capricornia candidates and simply feels underwhelmed.

"We just don't have anyone I feel excited to be voting for.

"I want someone progressive but I sometimes worry when I'm looking at progressive parties, say the Greens. I worry they're not really demystifying and calming the nerves of people depending on the mining industry to put food on the table.

"They need to be progressive but also give us a picture of what it looks like to move into a more sustainable future, sustainable for the earth and the livelihoods of people in Australia, but nobody wants to give up their way of life.

"I don't think it's sensible to be like 'let's stop mining all together'.

"We benefit from the coal industry. My partner (Victor Sorohan) is a boiler maker and he works with steel that comes from the earth.

"We can't afford for him to go and change his career completely.

"We would have to make massive sacrifices but with five children we don't have a choice, really."

Ms Vickery said mental health, childcare and education were key policy issues that could help her decide who to vote for on May 18 but, for now, she remained undecided.

She said she was looking for inspiring leadership but the options in Australia were falling short, especially with such a strong female figure across the Tasman in Jacinda Ardern.

"Youth are 100% our future and I really think but they need to pull their finger out in the way of education," she said.

"I have two children I'm schooling through distance education because I don't have enough faith in the education system."