House debates

Monday, 24 February 2020

Statements by Members

North Queensland: Infrastructure

4:29 pm

Photo of George ChristensenGeorge Christensen (Dawson, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

About a year ago I stood with Ash Dodd and other representatives of the traditional owner company Shine Energy to support their vision for a high tech coal-fired power station at Collinsville. It's a vision that will get no love from Labor, who will not only deny North Queensland a potential source of reliable and affordable power but also deny these traditional owners an opportunity to provide jobs and a future for their people. These are proud Birri people who want to build North Queensland's first HELE coal-fired power plant on their country, on Birri land, at Collinsville. They want to build the Dhalgan Energy Park project; Dhalgan means 'sun and energy' in Birri language.

On Friday we again heard the Leader of the Labor Party rubbishing their plan, calling the project 'pathetic' and saying that it doesn't make sense. I can assure Labor that the people of Central and North Queensland, the farmers and manufacturers who are paying too much for electricity and the workers in the coal industry, are listening—listening to their hopes being called 'pathetic'. There were no words of support. They were listening for any words of support for their industry, their jobs and their future, just like they listened at the last election to another Labor leader—another each-way man. Instead they saw squirming, ducking and weaving and watched the Labor candidates run rather than answer the question, 'Do you support coal?' What they hear today is crazy policies on capping coal exports and zero emissions that would destroy local jobs. What they hear today is that nothing has changed. Labor does not support them.