Senator Pauline Hanson Senate Speech (Coal Prohibition 24/02/20): This proposal by Greens Senator Larissa Waters to prohibit the mining of thermal coal in Queensland’s Galilee Basin will financially ruin my home state of Queensland. Some 36,000 Queensland coal mining jobs rely on this industry, and you can safely say tens of thousands of additional jobs also trade off the back of the Queensland coal industry. This bill, the Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition) Bill 2018, not only reflects the Greens’ attitude towards coal and mine workers but it’s also a carbon copy of Jackie Trad’s and Labor’s Palaszczuk government’s approach to the industry. The Labor Party in Queensland have established a ‘just transition’ group which is designed to make baristas out of coalminers and take their salaries of $100,000 or more to just $24.29 an hour. Without mining in Queensland, we have zero chance of paying off the $90-plus billion debt the state government—a Labor government—has racked up. This Greens bill to prohibit the mining of thermal coal in Queensland’s Galilee Basin will not only shut down 247,000 square kilometres of the Galilee Basin in Queensland but also kill many towns I have spent a lot of time in, like Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Cawarral, Sarina, Mackay, Moranbah, Nebo, Gleneden, Dysart, Proserpine, Bowen, Ayr, Townsville and Belyando Crossing. These are just a few of the towns the Greens have sentenced to a slow but sure death, and I won’t tolerate it.
In 2012, well before I was elected to the Senate, I watched property prices plummet by 62 per cent in Moranbah because there was a slump in mining. The downturn in coalmining sent countless hardworking families to the wall. These were families who were prepared to move out of the city and live in regional Queensland to make sure city slickers like Senator Waters and her Greens colleagues can live in their coal-powered cities. These little mining towns lost countless businesses too. They’ll never go back. The reality is the world is still embracing coal-fired power stations. Even The Australia Institute, who are no friends of coal, have conceded there are no fewer than 154 new coal-fired power stations under construction across the globe. Add to that more than 1,000 additional coal-fired power stations on the drawing boards of many other nations across the world. Some of these countries include Germany, Japan, Indonesia, India and the European Union. Most are signatories to the Paris Agreement.
The Galilee Basin will offer the whole of Australia and countries across the globe cheap, affordable base-load power, and there is no denying that. The Greens are completely reckless with their ill-conceived policies, and this bill should be sent to the shredder, never to be seen again. The Greens will stop at nothing to shut down coal. They continue to lie about the destruction of our Great Barrier Reef, using fake photos. They make out coal is killing our koalas and starting bushfires. The Greens are full of it, and the sooner Australians wake up to their rot the better. One Nation will not support the shutdown of the mining industry in Queensland and will, therefore, vote against the Greens bill to prohibit the mining of thermal coal in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. But One Nation is pushing for a coal-fired power station at Collinsville where there used to be one.
We actually are supplying power across Queensland, and, when they run out of power in the southern states, they rely on Queensland to supply that power. A known fact is that solar panels are not the answer to delivering the power that we need in Queensland. They have 2,000 acres outside Collinsville with 453,000 panels. Those panels are not delivering the power that they need to because the rats are chewing the wires. It is a constant problem that they have. At Kogan Creek, the state and federal governments invested $110 million into solar panels. Not one milliamp of power was delivered to the power station beside them, yet now they’re being dismantled. Look at South Australia and the $600 million invested in solar panels or the wind farms that are not even connected up because they can’t deliver reliable power. What does Australia do when, just like over the last couple of weeks, it is overcast and there is rain? There was no power coming from the solar panels. So we do need a diversity of power, but in shutting down the power stations in Australia or across the world—because that’s what you are doing by prohibiting coal—the fact is that we won’t have that reliable, dispatchable, cheap power.
I’ve travelled across my state quite extensively and spoken to business owners. Because they have to have a mix and because of the escalating power prices in Australia, we are seeing our industries and manufacturing shutting down to go overseas. We will see a further loss of jobs. And I’m fed up with hearing the Greens—and much of it is said on the floor of this parliament—absolutely telling our younger generation about the threat that coal poses to our Great Barrier Reef. Professor Peter Ridd, who has worked on the reef for 35 years, has said, ‘Coalmining has no effect on the reef.’ Actually he has said, ‘The reef is in great shape.’ There’s only about one per cent of it that has been subject to coral bleaching, and it’s not from coalmining. It has absolutely nothing to do with it. With all the fearmongering that goes on in this place, the Greens have never debated and put their argument forward. And that’s the problem within Australia: we have listened to the fearmongers and we have never had an actual debate and heard from the scientists about what global warming is about.
The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in accordance with their charter, will actually only look at man-made climate change. They will not look at any other climate change whatsoever. It’s not in their charter. So we have not been told the truth. Here we are making policies for our country for the future generations and our businesses, and we are not being told the truth. We need to debate this. We need to know the truth. Our kids’ heads are being filled with rubbish by those who are pushing their own agenda. As I said last week about the indoctrination in the education system, climate change has definitely won. When Stewart Dimmock from the UK challenged the education system and his case was put before the courts, the judge was told by the IPCC that the Himalayas were actually melting. That wasn’t the case. That was a farce by the media and some group of people who were pushing their own agenda.
We all have a right to a place in this parliament to express our views and concerns, and I don’t deny anyone that. But when we are talking about the future generations and whether our pensioners can afford to turn on some heating or cool themselves down and when jobs are going to be lost, I think we need to know the truth. And, if we are wrong, then we admit to that, but we need to have a clear debate on this. The Greens’ whole attitude to this is ‘shut down coalmining’, but there has never been a real debate to understand why. Even the Australian scientists said, ‘If we shut down everything in Australia now, it would not make one bit of difference to the global temperature—not one bit.’
Our emissions are 1.3 per cent. Those are our emissions. And yet we seem to be intent on leading the world on shutting down to stop global warming when we have countries like China and India way above that percentage level—even Canada and New Zealand are. Like I said, this proposal, this bill, by Senator Larissa Waters needs to be shredded. It needs to be thrown into the bin. One Nation will definitely not be supporting it.
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