House debates

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Questions without Notice


2:55 pm

Photo of Michelle LandryMichelle Landry (Capricornia, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister, representing the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. Will the Deputy Prime Minister outline to the House how the government's approach to the Carmichael mine will generate jobs right across Australia while also protecting our environment? Is he aware of any threats to the jobs that this project will deliver, including jobs in my electorate of Capricornia?

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

I thank the honourable member for her question and note the intense interest Central Queensland and North Queensland have in the tens of thousands of jobs that would be delivered by the development of the Galilee Basin. We know how important this mine is also for the income-earning potential of our nation. Australian coal exports are worth in excess of $34.5 billion and employ 44,000 people. The employment of people is vitally important. I know that the member for Capricornia, the member for Flynn and the member for Dawson see this as incredibly important to their electorates. I was speaking to the member for Dawson yesterday about the big issue of getting more employment into, especially, the Townsville area—

Ms O'Toole interjecting

Townsville's unemployment rate is at 11.3 per cent. So you would think the member for Herbert would be a strong supporter of the Carmichael mine. If the member for Herbert is interested in jobs, you would think she would stand behind the coal workers and miners of Central Queensland.

Opposition members interjecting

And you would think those in South Australia who are interested in the steelworkers having jobs would stand behind the delivery of the steel for these mines. But, of course, they do not. The member for Herbert, the member for Shortland and the member for Hunter do not stand up for their coal workers; they do not stand up for their miners. And you can never actually tell what the member for Maribyrnong, the Leader of the Opposition, supports. The Leader of the Opposition is in here today. There is a big football game on tonight. He has a maroon tie and a blue shirt. He is obviously supporting 'New Queensland South Wales Land'! He used to support South Melbourne. Seven years after they left South Melbourne and became Sydney, he came to Collingwood. He is very reliable, the Leader of the Opposition! He used to support Gillard over Rudd and then he supported Rudd over Gillard. He used to support labourers. But he does not support them anymore, oh no! He has turned his back on the labourers. The Labor Party has turned its back on the labourers.

Mr Albanese interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Deputy Prime Minister will resume his seat. The member for Grayndler can resume his seat. We are going to move to the next question. The member for Sydney has the call.