Constituency Statement – Mining
Mr PITT: Today we finally see the Labor Party show their true colours. The media may say that this is an outbreak of disunity, but I say it’s an outbreak of truth from their side. Today’s Courier-Mail in Queensland has the headline ‘Labor shafts itself on coal mine conundrum’. In fact, it reports that Mr Shorten has been trying to rein in rogue shadow frontbenchers like Richard Marles. We now see Ms Terri Butler, the member for Griffith, a shadow minister, a Labor opposition frontbencher, is on the record opposing the Carmichael mine and the opening of the Galilee Basin. She said: ‘I don’t support the project. My views haven’t changed.’
Labor Party members should get out into regional Queensland and tell those people what they really think. I am pretty confident that they would like to keep their jobs. They would like to be able to pay for their children to go to school. They want to ensure that they can pay their bills, buy their house and continue to support them and their family. That is what is important to them.
Clearly, it’s a bit of an outbreak. Apparently a Queensland Labor source said: ‘Let’s hope that Richard Marles knows more about defence, because he clearly knows nothing about regional Queensland.’ Finally a comment I can agree with from the opposition side. Regional Queensland is an important part of the Australian economy. The resources sector is an incredibly important part—more than $200 billion worth of exports, which is more than 50 per cent of what we produce and sell around the world, and 200,000 jobs. Yet people on the opposition side think it’s wonderful if the business shuts down.
The Labor candidates in Capricornia, Flynn, Dawson and Hinkler should say exactly what their position is. I know that we need jobs. We need to ensure our economy continues to build. We need to ensure that we can provide opportunities for our youth and those who choose to live in the region. The Labor candidate for Capricornia is a coalminer. He can’t support the coal industry that provides him with a job and pays his wages. He should allow himself to be one of the first—and this is what is being suggested by those opposite—to be transitioned right out of the industry. If you want to be in that business and take money from the resources industry in this country but don’t want to stand up and fight for those people, you have no place being in politics and in particular you have no place being in this building.
We even saw the Labor candidate for Flynn have a bit of a go. He came out and said that he supports the coalmine. He recognises he needs jobs. Everyone in this place knows that it doesn’t matter what that candidate thinks, because he will be directed what to do. His job is simply to be obedient. He must comply with the directions of his union organisers and masters. He cannot do a damn thing about it. Be upfront and be truthful: if you don’t support it, say so. We need jobs in regional Queensland. I’m all for the resources industry.