Monday, 11 September 2023
Statements by Senators
Over the weekend, the Prime Minister went to India and sold Australian jobs out. While there, he told his Indian counterparts that Australia's exports of coal and gas will wane and instead we're going to export lots of renewable energy, even though we don't export a single ounce of that today. Mr Albanese mustn't have read the report just a week before he arrived in India where Reuters blasted in their headline:
India steps up coal use …
Last year, India's coal use grew by eight per cent, faster than its economic growth. India is Australia's biggest market for coking coal, which goes into making steel, and India has plans to triple its steel production over the next decade. It'll need enormous amounts of steel as it grows and develops to build new homes and bridges. We have an enormous opportunity because India doesn't have reserves of high-quality coking coal but we do. That's why our coal exports have been growing and why it's bankrolling our nation's budget.
The message Anthony Albanese sent to India over the weekend is that Australia is not open for business and that India should stop coming to our country to seek to meet its future energy needs. And that's what India is already doing. I think they've read the tea leaves indicating that this Labor-Green government can't be trusted. Earlier this year, for the first time, the biggest exporter of coking coal to India was Russia, not Australia. Why would an Australian government push India into the arms of Russia right now? Why would an Australian government sell out Australian jobs in favour of creating Russian jobs? I can't remember the Prime Minister coming to Central Queensland or the Hunter Valley before last year's election and telling them that he and his government would shut down the export of Australian coal. I can't remember him doing that at all. Why didn't he have the guts to turn up there and tell them that instead of going all the way over to India to sell out their jobs, sell out their futures and sell out this nation's opportunity to— (Time expired)