The NSW Premier has shrugged off a suggestion by shock jock Alan Jones that she’d put her head in a noose and it would soon be tightened by truckies and farmers.
Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday went head-to-head with the 2GB host in an interview in which he repeatedly attacked her government’s decision to scale back – but not can entirely – a controversial coal exploration licence in the state’s north.
Mr Jones warned the Premier her decision to not cancel the licence in the Liverpool Plains would cost her politically.
“You have put your head in a noose and my view is, once the truckies and the farmers start, that noose will be tightened,” the broadcaster said.
But despite raising her voice several times, and being interrupted throughout the 13-minute interview, Ms Berejiklian insisted the exchange wasn’t unexpected.
“It was robust and colourful and a day in the job,” she told reporters later.
Mr Jones also accused the government of “renewing” Shenhua Watermark’s exploration licence in February.
Ms Berejiklian rejected that assertion, saying the licence was “extinguished” and no mining would take place in the region, while any exploration of the surrounding ridges would need approval.
“As you know, and you’ll get angry again for me raising this, but there is no mining licence,” she said.
“Is there more to do? Of course there is.”
The Berejiklian government on Wednesday announced it would refund $262 million to Shenhua to buy back more than half of the company’s coal exploration licence to protect the region’s renowned fertile soil from future mining.
Critics say the ridge lands – which weren’t part of the buyback – are still at risk.
The renewal of the exploration license covering the area was still being considered and no application for a mining licence had yet been made, a NSW Department of Planning and Environment spokesman said in a statement.
Thursday wasn’t the first time Mr Jones has used colourful language when referring to politicians.
He previously called then prime minister Julia Gillard “Ju-liar” to her face.
In 2011 he also said Ms Gillard, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and then Greens leader Bob Brown should be put into chaff bags and taken out to sea.