Questions without notice – Mining

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Mr O’DOWD (FlynnDeputy Nationals Whip) (14:55): My question is to the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia. Will the minister update the House on the Morrison-Joyce government’s plans to cut red tape and green tape in the resource sector, creating jobs and supporting regional communities?

Mr PITT (HinklerMinister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia) (14:55): I thank the member for Flynn for his question. The member for Flynn understands just how important it is that we do cut bureaucratic red tape and green tape processes. The member for Flynn has been a fuel distributor, he has been a publican and he has been a racehorse owner—he might even still be a racehorse owner—but he absolutely gets why it’s important that we streamline these processes.

We have legislation before the parliament and we’re looking to ensure that we can streamline, in particular, those environmental processes which are in place right now. Why does it matter? Here’s why it matters: there’s a press release which has just gone out from Bravus, formerly known as Adani—you might have heard of them, Mr Speaker. What does it say? It says, ‘We have struck coal at Carmichael!’ The Adani mine has struck coal at Carmichael in Central Queensland. What have they said? It was an exciting day for the 2,600 people on the project. It delivers jobs and it has been in the making for over a decade—10 years to deliver a project which has delivered jobs to Central Queensland and strength to the local economy. And in the member for Flynn’s area, the member for Dawson’s area, the member for Capricornia’s area and the member for Herbert’s area, there are jobs for the constituents.

If we’re serious about driving further investment into Australia then we must ensure we cut red and green bureaucratic processes. Premier McGowan in Western Australia understands and he agrees that we should be doing this. There’s some resistance from other places, but we must put these projects first and foremost. No-one is talking about making the environment less important. This is about a process which costs money, which takes time and which delays projects which can drive jobs and the economy in regional Australia. That is what we are here for and that is what we stand for.

So, as the member for Flynn knows, there has been resistance from those opposite. I would say to them once again: this is a commonsense position. Why should projects have to go through two assessment processes for what is effectively the same thing? Why should they have to pay for that twice? Why should these projects be delayed for those processes? We have projects announced in the north and we have projects announced in the south. We have Adani in Central Queensland, a 10-year fight which has finally struck coal. That means over 2,000 jobs into Central Queensland and people living in regional areas. That’s what we need to deliver for the Australian people and for the Australian economy.

This is the thing that’s important, and I say again to those opposite: step up, it’s time to do the right thing in terms of this legislation. We need to cut red and green tape; we want our country to be prosperous and we support the people in the sector who are driving our economy and jobs.

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