Senate debates

Wednesday, 7 September 2022


Climate Change Bill 2022, Climate Change (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2022; Second Reading

7:16 pm

Photo of Gerard RennickGerard Rennick (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

ICK () (): I'm very pleased to rise to speak on the Climate Change Bill 2022, because as I've listened to the speeches today I've heard very little talk indeed about science. As a matter of fact, I haven't heard even one mathematical equation that underpins any of the science since this whole debate started. But I'll get onto that point in a minute.

I do want to lay down my credentials in terms of how much I care about the environment, and I want to distinguish the environment and my passion for the environment and the Liberal Party's passion for the environment versus the shoddy mathematical modelling, indoctrination and intimidation of the climate change propaganda. When it comes to looking after our riparian zones, reducing pollution, and looking after our biodiversity and our land management, all these things are very, very important, and I stand with the party. It's one of the values of the LNP, to protect our environment. But as I stand here I get worried, because I know the damage that these are so-called renewables—which aren't renewables; they are reliables—will do to the environment if they go ahead.

I'll give you one example. These windfarms kill both bats and birds. They are killing our apex birds, which feeds down into the food chain, and they're killing our bats. Unbeknown to most people, bats pollinate lots and lots of flowers. So, if we're going to go around killing bats—it's estimated that in the US the windfarms over there kill millions of birds each year along with millions of bats. And it's been known in other countries—in Scotland and places like that. There's a real anti-windfarm sentiment there. They are doing a fantastic job tracking the number of apex birds that are being killed by windfarms.

But it doesn't just stop with windfarms. It is also a problem with lithium, with these batteries, and the rare earths mining that has to be carried out in order to build a battery. Not many people realise, for example, that lithium is a one per cent ore body. You've got to mine100 tonnes of ore to get one tonne of lithium, But the thing about a mine is that you can't just go and dig the ore body out of the ground; you've got to go around and around and around in order to get to the ore body. That means you've probably got what they call a stripping rate of about 10 to one. So, quite possibly, with many of these lithium mines—and don't forget, that's just one of the many metals that go into a battery—you would have to mine 1,000 tonnes of dirt in order to get one tonne of metal. But here's the rub: you don't just get the one tonne of metal out of the ore that easily; you've got to put it through a number of electrolysis processes to extract the metal from the ore. Once you do that, you then put it on a ship to China, where it then goes into a battery. From that battery, it then goes into—


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