House debates

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Questions without Notice


2:14 pm

Photo of Llew O'BrienLlew O'Brien (Wide Bay, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister. Will the Deputy Prime Minister inform the House how the Morrison-Joyce government is supporting jobs in regional Australia?

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

I'd like to thank the member for Wide Bay for that question and note the work that the member for Wide Bay has done, especially in the recent announcement of the Tiaro bypass. There has been an incredible amount of work he has put into that over so many years, driven by the desire to save people's lives, which I know he has dedicated so much of his life to. I'd like to also acknowledge, in the same breath, the member for Riverina, the former infrastructure and transport minister, and the work he did working with the member for Wide Bay to bring about this outcome.

Now, the question asked was about jobs. Before I resigned, we started on the process of, and achieved funding for, the Inland Rail. The Inland Rail is the corridor of commerce that will connect Brisbane to Melbourne. When I first arrived here, and that's a long time ago, I remember the Labor Party were still just talking about an inland rail. They never got there. We are building it right now. It's happening.

And on the issue of jobs, it's the people who reside on this side of the chamber who understand that our standard of living is determined by our terms of trade. And our terms of trade reside in the fact that product goes onto the boat that pays for what we see in every section of our life. Whether it's for your mobile phone, your car, your fuel or your clothes, somebody somewhere must be putting something on a boat and sending it in the other direction. And they are the people of regional Australia—people who sometimes you probably don't get too close to, like the coalminers of Central Queensland, like the coalminers of the Hunter Valley, like those people who have the remaining manufacturing jobs that you are so desperate to get rid of. And they will be reminded of the jobs that were lost when the Labor Party closed down the live cattle trade.

We remember what it was to have a Labor Party that brought forward a carbon tax. We remember it was the Labor Party that brought about the fiasco of decimating the northern cattle industry. We understand where the jobs are. We understand where the wealth of this nation comes from. We stand by our coalminers. We stand by our iron ore miners. We stand by our farmers. We are not ashamed of our live cattle producers. We support our cotton farmers. We support our rice producers. The fellows on the other side, they rarely even visit them. So the jobs of this nation are underpinned by the wealth of the regions, and the regions of this nation are represented by those who reside on this side of the chamber.