House debates

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Questions without Notice


2:26 pm

Photo of Barnaby JoyceBarnaby Joyce (New England, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for Flynn for his question and note his service to this nation and service to this chamber in what he's done in basically standing behind the people of Gladstone and standing behind the people of Emerald and looking after the people of Biloela. This is a person who has been re-elected by his people four consecutive times. This is a person of vision, and that's what we need. He mentioned ports. Yes, this is incredibly important.

We are investing in ports, whether it's in Dampier, Port Hedland or Darwin, whether it's in Bundaberg or whether it's in Newcastle. We might start with Newcastle, because it's so vitally important. There is $25.1 billion worth of produce that goes out of the port of Newcastle—coal. It's a shame, because the people on the other side, tied up by the Greens, don't support the people of the Hunter Valley. The member for Shortland is obviously very close to the Greens. He's got an issue; he talks about transitioning people out of the coal industry—that's making them unemployed.

We talk about what we are doing in Port Hedland, where we have over $90 billion worth of produce, $90 billion worth of iron ore. This is how we pay for the standard of living of our nation. And we talk about the Port of Dampier, with over $40 billion worth of exports. This is so important. The port of Gladstone, where the member for Flynn comes from, has over $28 billion worth of exports, such as coal, alumina, aluminium, liquefied natural gas and agricultural goods. This is how we pay the bills. And we must make sure we invest where we make money.

The accelerator fund, which has been brought forward by this government, also has so much more to add to regional areas—regional areas such as Lithgow, regional areas such as Shepparton—to make sure that these places also share in the vision for our nation. The regionalisation fund is providing investment in regional infrastructure. There is the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, for strengthening advanced manufacturing. There is the Critical Minerals Accelerator Initiative. There is the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative, because supply chains for food, fibre and minerals all start in the regions. There is the Australian Apprenticeships initiative, the Trailblazer Universities Program and education infrastructure in regional Australia, the national Centre for Digital Agriculture, adoption and innovation hubs, the Recycling Modernisation Fund, the Export Market Development Grants Program, the capability improvement grant and the sovereign industrial capability priority grant.


No comments