Senate debates

Tuesday, 31 August 2021


Mining Industry

1:38 pm

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Hansard source

[by video link] The national accounts figures published yesterday carried great news for our community and very bad news for those in the Senate for whom 'mining' is a dirty word. Australia's balance of trade surplus is now at a 10-year high, just over $10 billion in June, up from $9 billion in May. Every dollar of surplus is $1 of growth for the Australian economy, generating jobs and economic security and making Australia more resilient. Every $10 increase in the iron ore or coal price adds $1 billion to government revenue. Overall, metal ore exports reached a record high in April of $16½ billion. That's $16.5 billion in mining exports in one month.

Consider all the employment this is creating—the breadwinner jobs, the families supported by individual labour rather than by government handouts. Investment in mining is an investment in our future security—it's that simple. Iron ore is now at $154 a tonne and coal is at $171 a tonne—both against budget projections of $40 a tonne.

The government has a windfall here. Copper is up 23 per cent, steel is up 24 per cent, nickel is up 15 per cent and cobalt is up 57 per cent. Our mining recovery is broadly based and sustained. This revenue must go, in part, to building Australian infrastructure, which is our future, and, in part, to paying back our profligate deficit, caused by temporary COVID measures that now somehow appear permanent.

Yet Labor and the Greens are telling miners, 'Bad luck,' because both want to ban any new mines and extensions of existing mines. Their policy will devastate the economy and the government revenue base. Entire communities will be reliant on government welfare and any rules imposed on them in order to keep the benefits. No wonder the Greens and Labor hate mining. There will be none of this supporting of ourselves under a government Anthony Albanese and Adam Bandt lead. We are one community, we are one nation, and mining will keep us free.


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