Senate debates

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Statements by Senators


1:40 pm

Photo of Matthew CanavanMatthew Canavan (Queensland, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The world cannot get enough of the great Australian coal we produce. They cannot get enough of it. Right now lights are going off right across Europe, Asia and North America because they don't have enough coal. We have lots of it here and we should be exporting it to the world because it creates so many jobs for hardworking men and women in this country.

The other week, when I got out of my government enforced quarantine, I hit the road and got around Central Queensland. There seemed to be plenty more coal trains than usual out on the tracks. That was a great thing for our nation because it was making wealth and creating jobs. Each one of those trains had more than $5 million going to port. There's about 85 tonnes, on average, in each of those wagons. With the coking coal price yesterday at over $600 a tonne, that is $50,000 in coal in each wagon. There were 100 wagons per train set. So that's over $5 million for our nation. That's what the world wants and that's what the world is doing.

The world is moving away from net-zero targets just as we are about to embrace them. We have got our timing wrong. The Chinese government the other day said they are going to review when carbon emissions peak because they need to prioritise the energy security for their people. Russia told the UK government the other day that they are in no rush to meet net zero but they're happy to rescue the UK from their own mistake of turning their back on their gas resources. The Indian government the other day declared and decreed that all coal-fired power stations must use 10 per cent of imported coal now so they can ease the coal shortage in their country. Even the US, who are apparently lecturing us about climate commitments, cannot get their climate legislation through their congress, even though it is Democrat controlled right now. The world know that they need to keep the lights on for their people. We don't want to push power prices up. That's why we should say no to net zero.