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Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Page: 6641


Senator JOYCE (QueenslandLeader of The Nationals in the Senate) (10:43): It was interesting to see that Greens Senator Bob Brown was channelling Oscar Wilde. What always comes to my mind when I think about Oscar Wilde is:

Arguments are to be avoided: they are always vulgar and often convincing.

The motion before the Senate is about the cessation and guillotining of debate. It forms part of the sense I have of the absolute hypocrisy of where the Greens are. I have to be honest. Ever since the Greens voted against an inquiry into the rape of an Aboriginal girl in 1988 by youths from the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre, one Annette Harding, I have not taken them seriously. They lost their moral compass at that moment. At that moment they just became like everybody else. So now we see the continuation of this duplicitous type of arrangement of the feigned and faux nobility that they try to exude and then the reality of actually what they are given the dirty little tricks that they are starting to play, whether it is the anti-Semitic edge that they have now got with the boycott of certain shops that they stand behind without even blinking, whether it is voting against the inquiry into the rape of an Aboriginal girl in 1988 at the John Oxley Detention Centre, a rape that nobody denies and that we have been trying to purge and trying to clear for so long—and they were part of that cover-up—and whether we are now we seeing the guillotine of a debate, something that in the past they continually said that they would not be a part of. We have seen the metamorphosis of the Greens and they are now just another party. So let us dispense with this allure of some sort of nobility, some sort of an edge and maybe some sort of a sense of righteousness and of purity, because that is lost; it is gone. Of course, the other issue as to that is this $1.6 million donation from Wotif and then the question is asked by Senator Bob Brown on that proprietor's behalf. It is absurd how it is done with this stupid little smile that they get on their face when we talk about this. Why do they do it? How does this happen?

Now, apparently, we have to get this through because they want to go surfing at Durban. It is all about Durban. It is time to go to Durban: Durban is nice this time of year, the Greens have to get there—so we have to get this through. There is the whole metamorphosis of this debate. It started as being about global warming and then it became about climate change and now it is about clean energy. It just changes like the days and as one thing is stated as being absolutely ridiculous they just move the debate on. As we know, the reality is that this tax is not going to change the temperature one iota. What I will give the Greens credit for is that they are about to bring about a new creed that it is immoral to be provident and now we have this new gospel, and the gospel needs a creed and the creed is this piece of policy. That is what it is: it is the structure around it; all new religions need a creed to stand by and this is it. The purpose is not so much to do with the environment, because it does nothing for the environment; the purpose is about a form of social re-engineering and a form of change. I do not know how the Labor Party got themselves sucked into this. I honestly believe, and I fervently believe this, there are people on the other side in the Labor Party who know that this is an absolute crock but they are doing it to curry favour with a group that are going to destroy them and you can see that in the polls at the moment. It is not smart for the party of Curtin, Chifley and—dare I say it—Whitlam to be sucked in by this. So it is not about changing the climate and I can understand the sense of unease that certain members such as Senator Conroy have about this—and they are justified in feeling that unease because—

Senator Bernardi: Kevin is very close!

Senator JOYCE: Kevin is close. Kevin is getting very close. I do not want to say much but the number nine comes to mind when I think about Kevin—and this is going to be yet another fiasco. But let us have a look at this inquiry and transparency. Where has it gone as far as regional Australia is concerned? Where is the inquiry as to regional Australia on this? We have got an inquiry in Sydney, we have got an inquiry in Melbourne and we have got one in Canberra—and I hope they are not saying that is regional Australia—but what has happened to regional Australia? What has happened to those fighters for regional Australia, Mr Oakeshott and Mr Windsor? Where is the inquiry that they got to take this piece of legislation out to the country, to the epicentre of the effect of this tax? But, no, we cannot go there because there will be dragons out there so don't go there! It is like the margin analysis on old maritime maps, saying 'don't go there, don't talk to the people of Tamworth and don't dare talk to the people of Orange, and don't go talking to the people of Longreach, but talk to the people of Melbourne; talk to the beautiful people. Have them come in. Make it nice and quiet and sedate because we've just got to get this through because Bob's got to go to Durban'.

So, when we think about regional Australia, we should think of the source of the wealth of this nation: the area where the coalmines are, the area where the iron-ore mines are, the area where the cotton fields are, the area where the wheat fields are and the area where many of the tourism venues are—the area that is going to get absolutely smacked between the eyes if this tax goes through. That is not an ambit claim. That is the result of some of the inquiries that have been made by state Labor governments when those governments have been more honest than the federal government on this issue and have talked about the epicentre of effect—the towns of Rockhampton, Gladstone and other places that are going to be hit with this, as will the Hunter Valley. So I say to Kirsten Livermore: you went to your people and gave a warrant that you would not be a part of a carbon tax. Well, Kirsten Livermore, you have misrepresented it; you have told an untruth to the people of Rockhampton. To Joel Fitzgibbon and Sharon Grierson in the Hunter Valley: you have told an untruth to the people of the Hunter Valley —

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Adams ): Senator Joyce, could you refer to the members and the other place properly.

Senator JOYCE: Just as much as the Prime Minister has misrepresented her position so has Sharon Grierson and so has Joel Fitzgibbon.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Joyce, could you give the members of their correct title, please.

Senator JOYCE: Joel Fitzgibbon MP, Sharon Grierson MP and Kirsten Livermore MP have misrepresented their position. So why does this need oversight? Because this is the Green-Labor Party-Independent alliance—the glee club—who are the same people that gave us the ceiling insulation debacle where we spent $1½ billion putting fluffy stuff in the ceiling for the rats and mice to sleep on and then spent another billion dollars pulling it all back out again after we had set fire to 194 houses and had, tragically, killed four people. It is that type of acumen that is now, at pace, bringing in this carbon tax. They are the same people who brought us the Building Education Revolution where transportable dongas were landed in yards and places such as Manila in northern New South Wales for—whatever it was—$1.8 million for a transportable, bolted together modular bit of gear. People have been absolutely ripped off and touched.

The people who brought us the Building Education Revolution are going to redesign the economy on a colourless, odourless gas. We look at what is happening overseas right now in Spain, Italy, Greece and the United States of America, and, in the middle of that, it is culpable that our nation should even contemplate going down this insane path whilst we are sitting with $205 billion in gross debt at a time when we are in a boom and we should be collecting money and putting it in the bank. We are remarkable. We reach the absolute pinnacle of our times as far as our resource prices go and this buffoon, who may or may not be the Treasurer for much longer, has managed to rack up $205 billion in gross debt.

Senator Conroy: That includes all the states as well.

Senator JOYCE: We will put the states on top of that. On top of that we have the Labor Party states responsible for $252 billion of more debt. They do not care about how you repay it; they have not got a clue about how you repay it. They are always the same—they just get into a monstrous amount of debt and then when the place is on fire they run away.

This is the same group of people who brought us the war on obesity. What happened to that—was it a win or a draw? What happened to the fat people—where are they? It is a very bellicose arrangement that exists on the other side, because after they finished fighting the fat people they went to war against the homeless. Why don't you just leave them alone? Keep your hands in your pocket—stop picking fights.

I have found lately that we are increasing the amount that we are going to be sending overseas on scams. We have gone from buying $2.7 billion in carbon credits in 2020 and sending that overseas to buying $2.8 billion that we will be sending overseas. What is another $100 million between mates? I was looking at prospective letters and in the future we might get a letter like this from the office of Mr Soolaimon Bellowof the African Development Bank: 'Please transfer $2.8 billion into my account and I, the Auditor-General of the African Development Bank, will during the course of events deliver you some carbon credits.' Of course, where we are going is just so logical! You know where this ends up? Down the track we will end up sending $56 million a year overseas. People must be falling over themselves laughing at us and saying: 'Something has happened in Australia. There is something in the water in Australia. The Greens have obviously managed, in the dark of the night, to legalise marijuana. They're all just hooking up. They've got some crazy ideas. They're crazy people over in Australia. They're cooling the planet and they are going to be sending all of us $56 million a year in 2050.' Do not worry about our pensioners, do not worry about their teeth, do not worry about our kids—no, we have got a job to do: we must find every scam artist on the globe and send them a cheque for carbon credits.

Then we are giving the Greens their own bank account—a $10 billion bank account. In it they are going to come up with ideas because they are ideas people—straight to the pool room. We are going to have ideas coming from them—a new set of global warming jousting sticks. The ideas are going to be like those which we have seen in America where, the other day, they wrote off a loan in excess of $535 million. It was just one of those green ideas. These things seem to come unstuck. The problem is that they do not make much money. They tell us about green jobs. Where are these green jobs? Where are these people? I am looking for one. I ask Australia: if someone out there has a green job please ring up and tell me where you are, because we are apparently all going to have green jobs. We do not have to worry in the future about our coalminers or meatworkers. We do not have to worry about the manufacturing industry, which they used to represent, because they are going on this perverse path of green jobs—of wind chime manufacturers and duck pond makers. That is how we will survive in the future when we have got to pay back their stinking debt: we will survive with just green jobs and beautiful thoughts.

This nation really has got to wake up to itself. It just cannot go on like this. The New South Wales Treasury figures show the carbon tax will lead to 31,000 lost jobs in New South Wales, but over 26,000 of these will be in regional Australia. But we have not got an inquiry going on into regional Australia, because Bob has got to go to Durban. He has to go surfing and he has to tell the people in Durban what a wonderful person he is. So let us not worry about regional Australia and the 26,000 people in regional Australia who are going to lose their jobs, including 18,500 in the Hunter. If you are listening to me, you people in the Hunter, I say that Joel Fitzgibbon is going to vote for 18,500 people to lose their jobs. Maybe he should just lose his job, or maybe he should do the noble thing and cross the floor and vote against it. Cross the floor, Joel; cross the floor, Sharon Grierson; cross the floor, Kirsten Livermore—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Marshall ): Senator Joyce, I want to draw your attention to the question before the chair. I ask you to direct your remarks to the question.

Senator JOYCE: Thank you very much. It is all about an inquiry that we need. We must extend the time. We need an inquiry to tell people that 18,500 people in Hunter Valley, 7,000 people in the Illawarra and 1,000 people on the Central Coast are going to lose their jobs. They are going to lose their jobs because of the carbon tax, because of this nutty, stupid policy. But they do not get the grace of an inquiry. The government is going to guillotine time. We are trying to get an extension of time, but you do not want to give us an extension of time. You do not want to tell these people that they are going to lose their jobs.

Then we go to Queensland. This is Labor Party modelling. This is from the Labor Party. In the Rockhampton and Gladstone area the economic activity will fall by 8.2 per cent. So I say to the people of Rockhampton, in the seat of Kirsten Livermore MP, that she should be encouraging an extension of time. Maybe we should have an inquiry in Rockhampton where we tell the people of Rockhampton what is going to happen to their lives if they vote for this. In the Mackay area economic activity will go down by 5.7 per cent. Who cares? Who cares about regional Australia when you can pander to the Manic Monkey Cafe of inner-urban Nirvanaville? Who cares about them? They are only the people who put the money on the table. Don't worry about them—we will somehow live without them in this new mad form of economics, with a Treasurer who has an award from the same place that awarded Bear Stearns. It also awarded Lehman Brothers as the bank of the year. It never gave Peter Costello anything but it did give Paul Keating the Treasurer of the year award before we had 'the recession we had to have'. Why not?

'This is all going to make sense. It is going to work. The Greens are going to look after you!' Why are we doing this to people? How did we get sucked into this? The Australian people will wake up to it. They hate it—absolutely hate it. Except on Twitter, I just do not find people who want a carbon tax. Everybody hates it. You will literally get chased down the street by people who were formerly supporters of the Australian Labor Party. They are blue-collar conservative workers who have bailed on the Australian Labor Party because the Labor Party no longer believes in labour. They have dropped the 'u' out of 'labour'. For the Labor Party, it is not about human labour; it is about the Greens. It is about these manic, nutty policies that are going to take us to hades in a hand basket.

Senator Ian Macdonald: What are the Greens getting out of it?

Senator JOYCE: The Greens are going to Durban. So what are we going to change next? We want to have an inquiry and there are so many things we could ask. Going back to where I started from, I am only too happy when Bob Brown starts channelling Oscar Wilde: arguments are to be avoided because they are always vulgar and often convincing. What we want is a convincing argument, even just to temper this insanity before we get dragged along, because they are so indolent. They are structuring this in such a way that you cannot get out of it. Like a recalcitrant teenager, they are structuring this in such a way that we are stuck with this insanity.