Parliament Speeches

Please click below to read some of my speeches in the Queensland Parliament.

Response to Private Members Motion - Adani Carmichael Coal Mine

March 21, 2017

I rise to oppose the motion because when it comes to the resources sector in Queensland actions speak louder than words and the Palaszczuk government is forging ahead with projects and jobs for regional Queensland. The Labor Party is a party that welcomes debate and contributions from all. The Mount Coot-tha branch, in the great traditions of democracy and independent thought in Australia, is free to make any statement it pleases. What we know is that the Mount Coot-tha branch is concerned about the environmental impacts of mining, something that we should all be concerned about. The Palaszczuk government ensures a strong assessment process and conditions that underpin a sustainable resources sector in Queensland.

This is a trivial motion by a trivial opposition—an opposition that is more interested in looking for stunts and getting into the news cycle than dealing with the real substantive issues of the day like jobs. They condemn the Mount Coot-tha branch because they know they cannot condemn all the good work the Palaszczuk government is doing. Our actions speak much louder than the hollow words of any of those opposite.

For instance on 17 February the Minister for State Development announced the granting of coordinated project status to the proposed $1 billion Olive Downs mine near Moranbah. This is a project that could create more that are 500 construction jobs and 960 operational jobs, with the release of the draft terms of reference expected shortly.

Let me discuss the Carmichael mine. I am more than happy to put our record on the Carmichael mine up against those opposite any time. Under this government this project achieved 35 key approval milestones, including the granting of the all-important mining leases. It was the Palaszczuk government that granted the Carmichael mining leases. That is right, the Palaszczuk government granted mining leases not those opposite.

The Premier has only just returned from India where she discussed the progression of the Carmichael mine project with Adani. I met with the Premier in the weeks prior to her going to India to meet with Mr Adani. I met with the Premier again today where I made it very clear to her that Townsville is the only location where the workers hub should be based.

It is Townsville that has a long history of fly-in fly-out workers. It is Townsville that has the infrastructure and the aircraft networks that make it the perfect choice for the workers hub for Adani. Townsville is a city full of workers with extensive mining experience. Miners talk to me about the job opportunities that Adani will bring to them and to the city of Townsville. They can do the work and, more importantly, they want to work. I will do everything I possibly can to get them those jobs that Adani will bring.

Earlier this morning the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection granted an amended environmental approval in close collaboration with the Coordinator-General to enable continued mining at Resolute Mining's Sarsfield pit. This is a $167 million expansion that will secure the future of the existing 280 workers and will potentially deliver an extra 100 jobs.

There are many additional projects and initiatives that the Palaszczuk government is working on to facilitate and deliver jobs to regional Queenslanders. These projects I just mentioned demonstrate that the Palaszczuk government is working hard to assist new applications, to grant new applications and to extend existing mining to deliver resource jobs for Queenslanders. This is in stark contrast to the Nicholls' opposition, which provides nothing but political opportunism, point scoring, gutter scouring and a policy vacuum. Every time a member of the opposition rises to speak to jobs their conscience twinges a little because they know they ran the most anti jobs government in Queensland, slashing front-line services and driving unemployment up in Queensland. If their conscience does not twinge, I think it is reflective of the heartless manner in which they conducted themselves while in government for which they are still yet to suitably apologise. When it comes to assisting the mining sector in Queensland, what distinguishes the LNP from the Palaszczuk government is this: we take action and all they do is talk.

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