Tuesday, 10 November 2020
Before moving general business notice of motion No. 841, I ask that the names of Senators Stoker, Scarr, McGrath, Rennick, Hanson and Roberts be added to the motion. I'd add Joel Fitzgibbon too, but I think that's against the standing orders! I, and also on behalf of Senators McKenzie, Davey, McDonald, McMahon, Stoker, Scarr, McGrath, Rennick, Hanson and Roberts, move:
That the Senate—
(a) acknowledges the significant value of Australia's coal sector to Australia's regional communities and to our national economy, which benefit from more than 170,000 jobs and approximately $6 billion in royalties;
(b) notes that:
(i) Australia is the leading exporter of high-quality coal, representing almost 15% of all exports and generating more than $69 billion in 2018-19,
(ii) Australian metallurgical coal exports account for 19% of South Korea's imports of metallurgical coal contributing $3.1 billion to the Australian economy, while Australian thermal coal accounts for 34% of South Korea's imports of thermal coal, contributing $2.9 billion to the Australian economy, and
(iii) South Koreans rely on coal and nuclear energy for approximately 70% of their electricity capacity;
(c) condemns recent comments made by the Leader of the Australian Greens party and Member for Melbourne, Mr Adam Bandt MP, in his address to the National Assembly of South Korea in which he advocated against Australian coal exports and encouraged South Korea to impose carbon tariffs against Australia; and
(d) calls on the Leader of the Australian Greens party to apologise to the people of Australia for attempting to incite a foreign power to act against the interests of Australia.
By continuing to prop up the fossil fuels driving the climate emergency, the Nationals and their coalition partners are the greatest threat to public safety. ABARES have already shown that cropping farmers' profits have dropped by $71,000 because of climate change. How much more damage would you like to do? Fires, floods droughts and heatwaves—pushing coal threatens the safety and wellbeing of all of us, and you are acting against the interests of Australia. In his address to members of the South Korean National Assembly, Greens leader, Adam Bandt, urged that they provide a detailed time line on their phase out of coal and gas so that parties like the Nationals can be shaken out of slumber, stop representing the coal and gas donors and back a plan for coal workers to enter well-paid, secure jobs and keep their communities alive. By denying that coal and gas exports are going to sharply decline over coming years, you're throwing regional communities on the scrap heap. They deserve to co-design their own transition plan.