House debates

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Constituency Statements


10:39 am

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

The mining industry continues to provide thousands of jobs throughout Central and North Queensland. More specifically, coal supplies Australia with reliable energy and tens of billions of dollars in export revenue. Since June 2019 Adani Australia has awarded over $700 million worth of contracts for the construction of its Carmichael mine and rail project. That is a massive boost for North Queensland, and long may that level of investment continue.

Unfortunately not everyone shares these sentiments, though—particularly a select few activist groups who have decided to threaten and terrorise any business or company affiliated with the Carmichael mine project. These extreme green activists aren't just anti coal; they're anti jobs, they're anti progress and they're anti Queensland. For a long time, they've been targeting and disrupting lawful, law-abiding businesses, but recently they've stooped to a new low in harassing and intimidating honest, hardworking employees of those businesses.

In January this year the transport company Greyhound decided not to renew its contract with BMD to bus their workers to and from Adani's rail project due to concerns for its own employees. A number of other lawful companies have caved under pressure from these extreme green anti-employment activists over the last year, and yet it's business as usual for Adani's Carmichael mine project. Why is that? It's because there are a long line of businesses who are waiting for their opportunity to supply the goods and services needed for the Carmichael mine project to go ahead. It's because the majority of people who actually live in Central and North Queensland want this project to go ahead. It's because this project provides coal; coal provides power; coal provides revenue for the nation and the state; and coal provides jobs for locals.

These anti-job activists have wasted their time, their efforts and even some of their own fossil fuels by protesting, because coalmining will continue. The reason it will continue is that there are companies out there that won't buckle under pressure. They won't allow themselves to be terrorised into submission by these touring protesters. They are businesses that are standing up for themselves, for local jobs and for North Queensland. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate those businesses for not folding in the face of intimidation, threats and disruptive protests. Thank you to those businesses for standing up to these extreme green hypocrites who ride in cars and fly in planes up to North Queensland to tell us to stop mining coal because it's damaging to the environment. Speaking of that, I understand Bob Brown is putting out a documentary about how his convoy came up north to stop Adani—which actually helped us to build the mine! In North Queensland we are grateful to any business or company that reinforces the most important Australian value, a fair go for everyone, and that includes North Queenslanders.