MATTERS OF URGENCY - Climate Change


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (17:39): Madam Deputy President McCarthy, I apologise for laughing, but I've heard in the last two speakers all of the mantra, all of the slogans and all of the Canberra-bubble comments you can get without any thought going into what is actually being said. Like the schoolchildren they praise so much, they have simply been brainwashed and propagandised. It's a disgrace that in our country people of the Left are so devoid of decent arguments that they have to try to get children, who don't understand any of this, propagandised to do the work for them.

As a Queensland senator, I am here to support my state. I'm so very disappointed with the mover of this motion, who is a Queensland senator. He doesn't care about jobs in Queensland and he doesn't care about the Queensland budget, which only exists because of royalties from coalmines. He doesn't care about the Labor Townsville City Council and the people they represent. He doesn't care about these small businesses in North Queensland, where I come from, who will create genuine employment from the Adani mine. I'm delighted, and congratulate Adani for proceeding with the Carmichael mine under the most severe impediment by those on the Left in our country.

I'm pleased that Senator Moore is here, as a Queensland senator. It will be interesting to hear what she says. I notice that the other Queensland senators always run when this argument comes up, because, federally, Labor oppose Adani, but in Queensland Labor support it because they need the money.

The previous speaker said we don't follow the science. Well, I'm sorry, I follow the Chief Scientist of Australia. I refer people to the Hansard at page 76 on 1 June 2017, when I asked the Chief Scientist:

If we were to reduce the world's emissions of carbon by 1.3 per cent, what impact would that make on the changing climate of the world?

Dr Finkel responded:

Virtually nothing.

Virtually nothing! So the Greens and the Labor Party get themselves into a tizz over wanting 50 per cent, 80 per cent or 100 per cent reductions in Australian emissions for no purpose at all! It won't make one iota of difference to the changing climate of the world! Don't take my word for that; ask the Chief Scientist. Ask him yourself!

Senator IAN MACDONALD: They don't believe in the science! They get in here and mouth the words and mantra that we get from the Greens political party in particular and Labor when they think it suits their purposes.

I am disappointed that in this country we cannot have a serious argument or debate about this without going into the old slogans that the Greens political party keep churning out and can never argue the case for. I keep asking the Greens. Australia emits less than 1.3 per cent of the world's carbon emissions. If we shut Australia down completely, it would mean virtually nothing to climate change. That's the fact of the matter. I ask the Greens about it, but they will never answer me. They never answer me, because there is not an answer. There is not an answer so far as Australia is concerned. Australia does its bit. We've reduced our emissions as a good corporate citizen of the world. We've met our Kyoto targets—plus, plus, plus. We're meeting our Paris accord targets—plus, plus, plus. We're doing our bit. But to go beyond that—as the Green Party always call for, and Labor when they think it wins them a few votes—will mean absolutely nothing to the world's carbon emissions.

The rubbish you just heard from previous speakers about these days being the hottest days we've had, the most fires we've had and the greatest floods we've had—it's all rubbish! When we have a cyclone, the Greens will always say, 'There you are; it's climate change.' 'Cyclone Yasi was the biggest cyclone we've had in Queensland,' they used to say. 'The biggest cyclone we've ever had in Queensland,'—and then, in a low voice—'since 1928.' 'The hottest day we've ever had in Queensland, since 1932,'—it's always 'since', which just shows that the climate's always been changing. I have a graph here—I can't table it—that shows that the temperatures in the world, going back tens of thousands of years, are lower now than they have been in one, two, three, four periods in the earth's history, and they're a little bit warmer than two other periods in the earth's history. But this is not new. This has happened in the past. Antarctic scientists have proven this by the work they've done geologically to show what the climate has been like in years gone by. So nothing the Greens political party will ever tell you is based upon fact. It's simply based upon a pitch to the strange sort of people who support the Greens political party and the children that they've brainwashed and propagandised into doing their dirty work in Australia.

Already, there are other countries opening up coal-fired power stations. As Senator Williams so finely and accurately pointed out, the amount of carbon we emit in Australia as a nation is less than what these new power stations are already emitting. Look after the jobs of workers—that's what we're doing. The comments from the previous speakers from the Labor Party, written by the union movement, try to have two bob each way, I have to say. But we in the coalition, we in the Liberal-National Party, are serious about the jobs of workers in the coalmining industry, and, in fact, in all mining industries. We look after them. We look after the Queensland Labor government's budget bottom line, because without coal the state would be broke, and they know that. We are the party looking after workers and their jobs, and we try to bring a bit of sense into this argument that is otherwise full of rhetoric, slang and slogans by the Greens political party.

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