Thursday, 29 November 2018
MacMines' China Stone Proposal
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 1267, standing in my name for today, relating to ruling out public funding for MacMines' China Stone thermal coal project.
I amend the motion in the terms circulated in the chamber, and move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) MacMines Austasia's 20,000-hectare China Stone thermal coal project in the Galilee Basin is one step closer to approval,
(ii) the Galilee Basin has 9 mega coal mines proposed, including the Adani Carmichael mine, China Stone mine, Alpha Coal Project, Kevin's Corner Project, Degulla Coal, Alpha West, Alpha North, Galilee (China First) Coal Project and South Galilee Coal Mine,
(iii) the China Stone project alone is estimated to export 38 million tonnes of coal annually, producing 128.4 mega tonnes of CO2 per year – which is equivalent to 23% of Australia's total domestic emissions in 2017, or about ten years' worth of Australia's domestic emissions over the lifetime of the mine,
(iv) there is undeniable evidence that CO2 emissions are driving dangerous global warming which is causing extreme weather conditions unlike any we have ever faced,
(v) unless we take urgent action to stop global warming by reducing CO2 emissions and our reliance on fossil fuels, bushfires, flooding, drought and heatwaves will become more frequent and increasingly severe,
(vi) these extreme weather events will also make it far more difficult for farmers to graze livestock and grow produce, resulting in food insecurity; they will also lead to increased danger of illness, especially among the elderly,
(vii) the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility was established on the premise of promoting infrastructure and projects to the benefit of Northern Australia, and
(viii) developing thermal coal mines, which drive dangerous global warming and increase the probability and severity of extreme weather events, threatens the infrastructure and economic security of both Northern Australia and all of Australia; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to rule out giving publicly-funded finance, via the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility or any other source, to any part of MacMines' China Stone proposal.
The NAIF was established by this parliament as an independent statutory body. The government notes that it passed without opposition from the Greens. The government supports the independence of the NAIF. The NAIF should be able to assess applications on a case-by-case basis. The government believes that we should evaluate all cases equally based on how they will benefit northern Australia. The government notes that the resources sector is a key contributor to employment and the development of northern Australia. I do, however, understand that the minister responsible is not aware of any approaches to NAIF by MacMines.