Tuesday, 30 July 2019
At the request of Senators McDonald, Rennick, McGrath, Scarr and Stoker, I move:
That the Senate—
(i) that the vast majority of Queenslanders support the Carmichael Mine and opening of the Galilee Basin, and
(ii) the billions of dollars in royalties that the resources sector delivers to Queensland (Qld), building roads, schools and hospitals for all Queenslanders; and
(b) condemns the actions and hypocrisy of extremist protestors, including:
(i) a husband and wife who, despite being arrested nine times combined, blocked trucks leaving a concrete business that had urgent works to complete at a local nursing home,
(ii) a 20 year old unemployed protestor who, despite growing up and living in his family's lavish waterside mansion on the Sunshine Coast, glued himself to a Brisbane central business district road, causing disruptions for tens of thousands of Qld workers,
(iii) the numerous protestors who have attacked and disrupted small businesses which have contracts for the construction of the Carmichael Mine and are employing hard-working Queenslanders, and
(iv) the comments made by Brisbane City Council Greens councillor, Cr Jonathan Sri, who has praised the "effective tactics" used by the Extinction Rebellion protestors, noting particularly that "As a politician I'm telling you that supporting disruptive civil disobedience and general strikes is probably your best option".
This is another Adani-sponsored motion by the coalition. It has so many falsities in it that it's hard to know where to start. It asserts that the majority of Queenslanders support the opening up of the Galilee. They actually support real, clean energy jobs that won't make them sick with black lung, will help keep power bills down and will save what's left of the reef. The motion then talks about billions of dollars in royalties. Adani has been given a royalty holiday, as well as all of the fossil fuel subsidies that you provide them, along with their mates. It goes to show what those donations that are made by the fossil fuel sector to both sides of parliament can buy you. This motion condemns Queenslanders, who are protesting in demand for a safe climate and begging this government to listen to climate science. Instead of condemning your own constituents, why don't you actually seek some scientific briefings? Please, take action on the climate crisis before it's too late for all of us.
Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the culture war that the Senate has become for the extremes of the political debate, being the far right of the LNP on the one hand and the far left of the Greens on the other hand. Last week we saw it with the Greens moving their culture war motions, and now we have the LNP doing the same thing. The only people who lose out of this and the only victims in this are coal communities and coalmining workers. We know that it is the LNP that has condemned coalmining workers to poor mining safety, casualisation and labour hire. They are keeping their living standards low. And we know that it's the Greens who want to shut down all coalmining, denying those communities of their livelihoods as well. These issues are important. They deserve better than stunt motions from both extremes of parliament. We don't support unlawful protests, but we do recognise a role for civil disobedience. That's why we ask that the motion be split.
One of the first things I did in 2016 after becoming a senator was ask Adani what it needed to get the project going. We checked the water, we checked the farmers and we checked the Indigenous. We will be supporting this motion because of the primacy of energy; humanitarian grounds, because it will drag hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in India; it will enable business with India that has been destroyed because of the policies of the Greens; it'll open the Galilee Basin, which will do wonders for the state and the country. After years of Greens lies with emotive nonsense, we commend the LNP senators for standing up for our state.
Senator Watt interjecting—
Senator McKim interjecting—