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Monday, 11 February 2013
Page: 727


Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (20:41): I have pleasure in seconding the motion on the second reading of the Protecting Local Jobs (Regulating Enterprise Migration Agreements) Bill 2012. In Queensland, I think the sale of the railways damaged the government in such a way that it could never recover. Also, I think the flying in of 1,740 miners from overseas to make Gina Rinehart richer will damage this government in much the same way. They do not stand up to talk politics, having said that—because I am just trying to scare you blokes into doing the right thing. I am afraid that my scare tactics have failed miserably.

According to the paper—I was looking at it just before I came in—the coal seam gas industry is reputed to provide $45 billion to the Australian economy. This is an absolutely colossal amount of money. The people sitting on that side of the House and on this side of the House gave the entire gas industry away to foreigners. Depending on which set of figures you want to use, it was in the range of 83 per cent to 87 per cent, but another seven per cent is being negotiated for sale as we speak. So you are looking at around 90 per cent of the industry being foreign owned.

The $45 billion comes into Australia at Gladstone and at the two liquefaction plants in Western Australia, and there is one proposed for the Northern Territory. There are no wages—it is just in a pipe with a motor pumping the gas without any requirement for labour. Yes, there will be about 4,000 jobs, but what Australia will be getting out of this vast resource is very, very small beer. We have the highest electricity charges in the world. A lot of other countries have reserved the gas so that they can provide cheap electricity. We have the cheapest electricity in the world in Queensland because my mentor, the great Ron Camm, had taken one-tenth of Utah's coal, and taken it for free, and fired up the Gladstone power station, which was one of the biggest in the world at the time.

Charlie McDonald, the first member for Kennedy—you will see his wonderful painting as you walk out of here—was one of the founders of the labour movement in Australia. His first seven speeches in this place were about shipped-in foreign workers. The founding principles of the Labor Party were that we had fought and literally died. Three people were shot dead at Dagwood Station—Waltzing Matilda—in the sit-in that occurred there. They were bringing these people in from overseas to undermine our pay and conditions that we had fought so hard for. It is eternally shameful to be associated with the current government in Australia, which has been the government responsible not only for the fly-ins but also the section 457s. Opposition spokesman Mr Bourke criticised the Liberal Party about it. They brought in many more section 457s than anyone else. In many towns, like Mackay, Mount Isa and even my own town, Cloncurry, it is becoming 'Spot the Australian', because they are all foreign fly-in workers. If they are working for Australian pay and conditions then I am a Martian astronaut! And all of this is to make Mrs Rinehart rich. You must really be very committed to looking after the billionaires of Australia when you have given all the gas resources away to foreigners. (Time expired)