Monday, 14 October 2019
Bylong Valley Coalmine
I, and also on behalf of Senator Waters, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the New South Wales Independent Planning Commission (the Commission) has rejected the development of the Bylong Valley coal mine near Mudgee in New South Wales, citing concerns about the long-lasting environmental, agricultural and heritage impacts of the proposed coal mine;
(ii) the Commission raised serious concerns about the proposed mine, including groundwater contamination and the mine's contribution to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions; and
(iii) the Commission also raised concerns about the intergenerational inequity of environmental costs associated with the proposal, saying that younger generations would have to bear the heavy environmental, agricultural and heritage costs of the proposed coal mine; and
(b) congratulates the community, who have been campaigning for years to protect the Bylong Valley from coal mining.
The coal industry is providing jobs in communities across rural and regional Australia. It employed more than 54,000 people last year and pays more than $5 billion annually in royalties, enabling new investment in roads, hospitals and schools, and provides jobs and opportunities for current and future generations. The Bylong Valley coal project will create around 1,000 new jobs and inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the region. Unelected state agencies bowing to activists' demands are imperilling our economy.
This motion is a running commentary on decisions of the New South Wales Planning Commission. The Greens political party set back climate change and environmental protection by more than a decade when they voted against Labor's ETS in 2009, and now all they focus on is individual projects, rather than achieving meaningful climate action and environmental reform. In fact, the Greens political party's single-issue campaigns boosted the climate-change-denying coalition vote in regional communities at the last election, further setting back meaningful action on climate change and environmental protection. The Greens political party don't care if the environment and the climate pay the price of coalition election victories. They only care about more votes for the Greens party in the Senate.
Referring to paragraph (a)(ii), today is day 35 since I challenged the Greens leader, Senator Di Natale, to a debate on climate science and on the corruption of climate science. He has failed to respond. It is day 35 since I challenged Senator Di Natale to provide the empirical scientific data showing that carbon dioxide from human activity affects climate and needs to be cut. Again, he has failed to respond. There is no scientific justification for paragraph (a)(ii), so we cannot support this motion. One Nation is committed to restoring Australia's productive capacity. This includes providing all Australians with low-cost electricity to drive growth. Coal does that, and our country has many coal deposits. Restoring Australia's productive capacity includes ensuring a strong agricultural sector, feeding Australians and feeding the world. The Bylong Valley shows how a local community can develop this beautiful country into a food source while caring for the environment. One Nation is on record for putting agricultural land use ahead of coalmining.