House debates

Thursday, 1 August 2019


Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2019-2020, Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2019-2020, Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2019-2020; Second Reading

11:15 am

Photo of Craig KellyCraig Kelly (Hughes, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I know you're not laughing there! There will also be Indigenous leaders such as Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price.

An opposition member: You can have them!

Yes, very nice! This is the thing. You hope that Hansard caught that—what do you call it?—intervention, or whatever you want to call it. These are genuine people working hard in their Indigenous communities to uplift Indigenous Australians, and we have comments from the Labor Party saying, 'You can have them!' That says everything. Good people—Jacinta Price and Warren Mundine—are being criticised by the Labor Party because they have a slightly different view about the way that we lift up Aboriginal and Indigenous Australians' prosperity and welfare. The Labor Party vilifies these people. What a disgrace!

But, having said that, I must confess that what we heard from Senator Kenneally—although I congratulate her for the publicity that she's given us—is a disturbing trend that we are seeing in our society. Instead of debating someone that they disagree with and bringing their ideas out into the open, people ridicule them, if they think their ideas are wrong, instead of staying silent. They are shutting down debate. There is censorship. This is a track which we are heading down which I see as very dangerous for the future of our nation.

Another issue I'd like to raise, especially at a time when we see many of our children, gullible and naive, being brainwashed in our schools and indoctrinated into a doomsday cult. One of my constituents sent me a copy of what is actually being taught in our schools in New South Wales. This is from a history textbook called Pearson History New South Wales S.B. This is what our children are being taught in school. I'm quoting directly from the text. It says, 'Government responses to climate change vary.' It goes on to say: 'Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected September 2013, made international headlines as a climate change denier. He declared that scrapping the carbon tax was his top legislative priority. He abolished the Climate Commission, whose purpose was to provide information on global warming.' Let's just go through that statement. Remember, this is not some commentator on the ABC or what someone's writing at the Socialist Alternative. This is in our New South Wales history textbook that's being taught to our kids in our schools today.

'Tony Abbott made international headlines as a climate change denier.' The 'denier' slur is directly related to the Holocaust deniers; it is an abhorrent use of the language. It has no place in our history textbooks whatsoever. 'Made international headlines'—what international headlines? I asked the author of this text to explain what international headlines he is talking about. There were no such international headlines. He has just simply made this up to suit a political agenda to brainwash kids in New South Wales schools. Then it goes on, 'He declared scrapping the carbon tax as his top legislative priority.' Does the author discuss why that was; that the carbon tax had no effect whatsoever on greenhouse gas emissions and that it just increased the cost of living for all Australians? Where was that ever discussed? Then it goes on, 'He abolished the Climate Commission.' He defunded it, because we had a group of people simply spreading mindless propaganda, mainly one—

An opposition member interjecting

Yes, the tinfoil hat of Tim Flannery, who walked around the place saying it would never rain again. Even the rains that fall would never fill our dams. That is what our so-called climate commissioner was telling us. And I remember what Prime Minister Abbott said at the time. He asked why the taxpayer should fund these people when they are prepared to give their opinions for free. And yet we have this comment: 'The Climate Commission wasn't to provide information.' It was to provide disinformation, to run a cover for why the Labor government at the time could put in a carbon tax, which put up the price of electricity and put up the price of the cost of living for all Australians.

This article goes on. It talks about Prime Minister Julia Gillard. It says, 'Prime Minister Julia Gillard, June 2010 to June 2013, introduced a minerals resource rent tax as a response to climate change.' Deputy Speaker Georganas, you were here on the floor of parliament when that minerals resource rent tax was introduced on 1 July 2012. I thought you were. I was here in that parliament. I actually remember debating that bill, reading through the legislation and reading through the explanatory memorandum, and I couldn't find any mention of climate change in that bill whatsoever. I couldn't recall anything. So I went back and double-checked. Did I miss something? No!

The minerals resource rent tax that was brought in by the Labor Party had absolutely nothing to do with climate change whatsoever. It was a simple revenue-raising method on our resources sector. And here we have something that is simply factually incorrect being taught, again, in a school textbook. This is the nonsense that is being taught to our children. If they get a basic fact like that wrong, how much else is wrong in this textbook and in the nonsense that is being taught to our kids?

It goes on. It says, 'Climate change is noticeable in Australia with more frequent, extreme weather events.' Where are they getting that from? If you look at the evidence—we have to look at the evidence and we have to base it on the science—there is no evidence whatsoever that there are more frequent extreme weather events in Australia. Let's just have a look at some of what the science says, because I know there are some people in here that look at the science and look at the data, and there are others who believe in superstition and religion. What do we say about cyclones? There is a peer-reviewed study published in Nature in 2014 titled 'Australian tropical cyclone activity lower than at any time over the past 550-1,500 years'. That is the science. You only have to look at the data from the Bureau of Meteorology on tropical cyclones landing in Australia to see the trend is down, so you simply cannot say that about tropical cyclones. It is a complete nonsense. Again, the author of this text is just making stuff up, without any reference to the science or the data, to suit his political agenda.

Then it goes on to talk about the 2010-11 Queensland floods being examples of more extreme weather. We can have a look at the data, again from the Bureau of Meteorology. Yes, those floods in 2010-11 were extreme, but they were actually only the seventh-highest floods recorded in Queensland since 1841. There were six floods that were more significant, with the highest in 1893. The 1841 flood was also higher, as was the 1844 flood, as was the 1974 flood. So yet again what is written in our school textbooks and is being taught to our children is completely made up, completely without any factual basis whatsoever.

It goes on to talk about the 2002 to 2006 drought being evidence of more frequent extreme weather. Yes, the 2002 to 2006 drought was severe—as is the current drought, and we in this parliament are doing everything we can to support our regional areas that are suffering through this drought until it breaks, and break it will. You only have to go to a nice chart which I've actually had printed and hung up in my room and which is something that I believe should be distributed to all schools to counteract this misleading propaganda that is being taught. It's titled '119 years of Australian rainfall'. When you look at it, it shows us exactly what Dorothea Mackellar stated: we are a land of droughts and flooding rains. You can look back through our history for the last 120 years, and that's what's happened. We've had three, four, five, six years of drought, then three, four, five years of rainfall, and that same pattern has repeated over and over. If you look at the data, again from the Bureau of Meteorology, and you look at rainfall in places like the Murray-Darling Basin, all you see is great variability. There is no trend of continued drought. Yet this is what is being taught to our children in our schools, indoctrinating them into a doomsday cult where they are being taught to believe that the world will end in 10 or 12 years.

I agree with the comments that the new member for Longman made in the House yesterday, that, if we are going to teach the issues of climate change in our schools, we need to teach all the facts. We can't teach some biased nonsense without any scientific backing—in fact, the complete opposite of scientific backing—without any factual data. We can't teach it like a religious text in our schools. When those children become indoctrinated into this cult—and I have seen them come through my office—they simply can no longer reason logically and look at the facts. We have seen people gluing themselves to the road. So brainwashed are they, so indoctrinated into this cult are they, that they glue themselves to the road. How do they form these opinions? Yes, they may listen to the ABC, but, when they are being taught this nonsense in our schools, what hope do they have?

When it comes to disproving the claims that we are going to more frequent extreme weather, let us again look at the science and the data. There was a peer-reviewed paper, published earlier this year in Environmental Hazards, by researchers from Macquarie University and the University of Colorado. It simply shows that there was no increase in insurance losses from natural disasters and weather events from 1966 to 2017. In fact, the researchers found that, for cyclones, the trend is declining. They found that, for bushfires, for normalised losses, the trend is declining. They found that the worst year we had in this period for natural disasters was actually 1966, when we had two major cyclones hitting Queensland and we had droughts, floods and major fires affecting the nation. That was 1966. What chance is there that this peer-reviewed research—the details and the truth—will be taught in our schools? Unfortunately, it appears there is none. I would call on the ministers for education in New South Wales to look at this text, Pearson History New South Wales, and have it withdrawn, because it contains completely incorrect and false statements and is misleading our children in their schools. (Time expired)


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