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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 2663


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (18:17): I would also like to take note of the Tourism Australia report for 2010-11. Just before I go to that could I also acknowledge the contribution made by Senator Ronaldson in relation to Jim Stynes and express my support for the comments that were made, and I am sure the support of the government, in relation to a great sportsperson and someone who made a fantastic contribution to sport in this country.

On the issue of Tourism Australia, I note that Senator Macdonald raised the issues facing tourism in Australia. Well, there are a number of issues facing tourism in Australia. But what is the issue that Senator Macdonald chooses to raise? He chooses to raise inflexibility in the labour relationship. We know what 'inflexibility in the labour relationship' is when it is coming from the coalition. It simply means that they want to go back to Work Choices. They want so much flexibility that a worker loses their penalty rates, loses their shift allowances, loses their capacity to have any rights on the job and loses their dignity on the job. That is what Work Choices did. So whenever we hear Senator Macdonald talking about 'inflexibility in labour relationships', what we have to understand for tourism workers and workers in the tourism industry is that it is about bringing Work Choices back. It is about giving the boss complete control over workers in that industry.

I am surprised that the coalition want to keep raising this issue as a major issue. I would have thought that they would have actually dealt with the scientific issues that the tourism industry is facing—for instance, the effects in the tourism industry of global warming and the effects that is going to have in the medium to long term for tourism jobs in this country. We see from the reports that come through from the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, NASA and all of the eminent scientists on climate change that they have raised the concerns of the problems for the tourism industry of global warming. Yet what do we hear from the coalition and Senator Macdonald on that? We hear nothing.

And why do we hear nothing from Senator Macdonald on that issue? We hear nothing because one of the biggest climate change deniers in the country is the billionaire miner Clive Palmer. Clive Palmer, who is a major donor to the coalition, would in my view be the reason that the real issues facing the tourism industry are absolutely ignored by Senator Macdonald. And why wouldn't they be ignored, when in 2010-11 almost half a million dollars was donated by Clive Palmer to the Liberal National Party in Queensland? In 2009-10 there was a million dollars and in 2009-09 there was $605,000.

I have said in this chamber before that, when it comes to the puppies of the coalition, they are Clive Palmer's puppies. They ignore the real issues of climate change, they ignore the real issues of workers' rights, and they simply become Clive Palmer's puppies—because the money is flowing in from Clive Palmer to the Liberal National Party. They stand up here and go after workers' rights and workers' ability to have a decent rate of pay on the job. And why are they doing that? They are doing that because Clive Palmer would like to go back to Work Choices—and so the Liberal National Party would like to go back to Work Choices. Clive Palmer does not believe in climate change, so the Liberal National Party do not believe in climate change. Clive Palmer goes into his big, deep pockets and hands it over to the Liberal National Party and they become Clive Palmer's puppies. They say: 'Clive, what can we do for you now? How can we get rid of workers' rights? How can we support your climate change rhetoric?' The Liberal National Party have become Clive Palmer's puppies. That is simply what they are. (Time expired)