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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1936


Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (11:56): If, 20 years ago, you had been told that the Labor Party would be using all of their energies to stop coalmining, you would've thought you were mad, because the CFMEU would kill you. Well, I can assure the ALP that the CFMEU are going to kill you!

We're criticised all the time for having a close personal relationship. Yes, of course I have—I represent coalmining areas and have all my life.

Collinsville had 6,000 people. It was a thriving community. It had the highest average income of any town in Australia when it was in my old state electorate under the Bjelke-Petersen era. We built the railway lines; we built 6,000 kilometres of railway line into the coalfields and a couple of mineral basins as well.

They accuse us of being agricultural socialists. But I'll tell you one thing for sure: they are not socialists. If socialism means that the people own the asset, they are not socialists. They are the representatives of the capitalist class, because the ALP in Queensland sold the railways and corporatised the electricity industry, for which the people of Queensland annihilated them in the worst defeat ever recorded in Queensland history. Their opponents were so mind-numbingly stupid that they went into the next election promising to privatise what was left, and achieved an even greater landslide!

The people are not prepared to have this country owned by foreigners. This is not about A-D-A-N-I—I'm not going to keep on using the name. This is about the Galilee. Half of Australia's coal is in the Galilee. I am sick and tired of the primitive stupidity that I hear in this place. Are you going to seriously tell me that a coal-fired power station is going to be more expensive than and has no future up against solar energy? I'll give you the figures—not my figures, but Finkler's figures: $40 for coal-fired power; over $100 for solar power. If you like paying 150 per cent more for your power, well, keep going with solar. I'll tell you what it does. It closes the power stations in Australia, and they're closing at the rate now of one every two or three years. It is closing the coalmines that supply them. These jobs are being exported to China, so, instead of producing the electricity here, we now produce the electricity via the production coming out of China.

Mr Trump is getting very popular despite the left-leaning 'bludgerigars' in America because he said: 'None of your solar panels are coming into America anymore. We're going to produce our own. We're going to provide jobs for our people.' The Labor Party was the party that created jobs, that built the railways, that built the sugar mills, that built the dairy factories in Queensland, and my family were very proud to be part of the Labor Party for about 50 years like the rest of Queensland outside of Brisbane was. And then of course, later on, like other people outside Brisbane, we ended up in the Country Party and were proud to be part of that party. But they built the railway lines. That we can be arguing about giving a thousand million dollars to a foreign corporation—that will not open up the Galilee. It'll open up one mine. If there's anyone in this place naive enough and stupid enough to believe that the most powerful infrastructure magnate on earth is going to allow his railway line to be used by his competitors to sell their coal then they believe in the Tooth Fairy.

Have a look at what happened in Western Australia. The law said to BHP that it had to be a multi-use facility. There was never a tonne of iron ore carried on the BHP railway line. I'm quoting Twiggy Forrest, who spent 21 years fighting to try to get access to a railway line which by law he should have been given. So forget about that. It's not going to open up the Galilee; it's going to open up one mine in the Galilee. The government could build this railway line as they built the other 6,000 kilometres of railway line—it's just a tiny little 300. The state government said they've got no money, but the ALP plucked five thousand million out of the air for yet another tunnel in Brisbane, the most tunnelled city on earth, and the LNP plucked out five thousand million for a road tunnel. So they've got the money all right, but they're not going to use it to provide jobs for Queenslanders. That's not going to happen. (Time expired)