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Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Page: 8584


Senator JOYCE (QueenslandLeader of The Nationals in the Senate) (19:30): The worst thing that the coalition could do—the worst thing that the National Party could do and the worst thing that the Liberal Party could do—is support this package, because that would indicate that we support the absolute load of rubbish that went through the parliament today.

You will be happy to know that tonight I have spent most of the time speaking to the good people of Western Sydney, generally on talkback radio, and they are not happy. I thought there was some emotion here, but it is nothing to the emotion that is pouring down the phone lines, and you are so, so foolish for what you have done. I will put it this way: when are you most affronted—before you have been ripped off or after you have been ripped off? Now we are talking to people post being ripped off, and the post-ripped-off people are ready to go you as hard as they can. They see you as being complete­ly usurped by the Greens. They see you as basically in a policy cohabitation with a party which will bring about the demise of our nation, and they hold you totally and utterly responsible for it. These people are not happy.

These people were your heart and soul. These were the people who supported you. There is never so much venom as when a person from your family finds out they have been deserted by their own parents. This is the emotion that these people have for you. I do not know how you have done this. How foolish you have been to get yourselves into this position. All of that backslapping and kissing and hugging has gone over like a bomb. It has gone over like an absolute bomb. It is like you are ambivalent about the people of the working-class suburbs, where everyone now believes that they are a collection mechanism for the Australian Taxation Office by reason of their power point, by reason of this new tax.

For what? Why is it evil to iron clothes? Why is it evil to cook dinner? Why is it evil to try and keep yourself warm in winter and cool in summer? Why have you done this to them? Why did you do it to them? But you do not care. It is all because the beautiful people have taken over. You are too wise for them now. You have gone beyond them. You have evolved. Well, you are going to evolve all the way to the ballot box and then you are going to be absolutely and utterly annihila­ted. I just cannot work it out. To be honest, politically you could have had us on toast, but you did this to yourselves. You were so, so foolish—so naive.

Anyway, I will start on the Steel Transformation Plan Bill. Here is a quote that I am absolutely fascinated by. This is from a very wise person. This is what this wise person said:

There is one point that is very important to understand. A nation without a steel industry is a nation without a manufacturing industry. It is also a nation without a defence industry.

This person is clued up. They went on:

Without the steel industry of this country we lose thousands of jobs—

this is a very wise person—

and we lose export opportunity.

This person went on to say:

It defies logic that a nation like ours, with natural resources in iron ore and coal, with leading infrastructure, leading technology and a massive improvement in labour productivity, cannot see itself developing an expanded steel making industry.

I will give you a hint who said it. He then finished by saying, 'It would never have happened under Labor.' So who is this wise sage? I am interested in this person. This is a noble person. I want to meet him. He wants to protect my manufacturing industry—so do I. He wants to protect the defence of my nation—so do I. I want to do that. He says that if we lose the steel industry we lose thousands of jobs. I agree with this person. This person is a must. I must meet this person. Who is this person? It is Simon Crean, on 29 May 1997, in a House of Representatives matter of public importance debate on the steel industry.

So what did Simon Crean do the other day? He voted for a carbon tax. See, the Greens are voting, but they think coal is evil. You are cohabitating with these people. Coal is evil. You must close down all the coal industries, you doormats of the Left. You must close down the whole coal industry, because—

Senator Carol Brown: No, Barnaby, you're the doormats.

Senator JOYCE: No, because I am voting against this. It is you, who are supposed to be looking after the working-class people, who are the doormats. You are the doormats of the Greens, for goodness sake. Why are you doing this to the Austra­lian people? It is very interesting that Simon Crean said that. What could we offer? What are the two alternatives? We can offer a carbon tax. There is—what?—$300 million over the forward estimates, and that is it for the steel industry. Goodnight, Irene; it is all over. We do not need Wollongong anymore. We do not need Whyalla anymore. Goodnight, it is all over. We do not need a steel industry anymore. If we listen to Simon Crean, that means it affects the defence foundation. It means it affects thousands of jobs.

What is the best way to keep a steel industry open in this nation? I agree with it. It is: do not go forward with a carbon tax. Do not make the price inputs of that industry beyond the reach of that industry to stay viable. Why did you do this to them? You are supposed to be their allies. You were supposed to be standing behind the blue-collar worker. But you have lost it. You are now part of the manic monkey cafe of inner suburban Nirvanaville. You are having the beautiful conversations in the middle of the night. You are philosophising. It is all wonderful stuff. But you are just flushing your own people down the toilet. But they are onto you tonight. I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the common sense of the Australian people, who on talkback tonight have got your measure. I have to say they got your measure quicker than most people around here got it. They have you lined up. They are upset and they are angry, because they want their nation to be a better place. They want their nation to be the nation that produces cheap power. That is one of the things they want—cheap power. They want their nation to be able to produce food that comes from Australian farms. They want all these things that just make so much sense: affordable power, food from Australian farms, a Defence Force they are proud of and a manufacturing industry that stands behind our nation and determines who we are.

These are good people; they are making so much sense on radio tonight. They heard that what happened is that their party—they still refer to you as 'their party'—has left them. Their party no longer believes in them. Their party now believes in the Greens, the highest socioeconomic group in this parliament. That is it. They are higher than the Libs; they are way higher than the Nats—we are the poorest. It goes: the Greens, the Libs, Labor and then us. We represent the poorest. So you have decided to, in a political way, shack up with the Greens, and you are going to pay such a massive price.

I look across the chamber. This is the party of Curtin and of Chifley. These people were giants. I might even say it is the party of Hawke. As much as I wanted to get stuck into him, for all his foibles, he was something. He had that je ne sais quoi. There was something about him, and he had that connection with the Australian people. He had a sense of common sense—sort of a pull to appeal through all the rubbish. But, no, you have deserted that. You are now the party of Dr Bob Brown, with some sort of Romulus Augustus type figure in Julia Gillard—the final emperor. The power is usurped. The Vandals are in town. They are not interested in running the country; they are interested in the archaic spoils that are left in the final Rome. This is what you have done to your own people.

Why would we be part of a process that would condone, and somehow imply our agreement with, your total and utter insanity on this issue? The only message we are going to send to the working-class people—the good people; the working families of Blacktown, Seven Hills, St Marys, Ipswich, Rockhampton, Townsville and Geelong—is that we are going to make sure that, in this crazy equation between cheap power and cheap wages, we are actually the backers of cheap power. We believe that cheap power and dear wages are a good outcome for our nation, Australia. Your belief is that cheap power is evil. Therefore, you believe in cheap wages. 'If you don't want cheap wages, no jobs.' That is what you are offering them: no jobs.

You think that you are somehow beguiling them with the cunning of the serpent. You are beguiling them: 'Oh, we're going to have green jobs.' I tell you: there is another trigger for absolute apoplectic meltdown. They just cannot believe that you even say it. 'Green jobs? What are these jobs?' What do we say to the fitter and turner? 'Mate, we're going to make you a green job.' He says, 'Mate, I want my job.' Is that what you are going to say to the sparky? 'Mate, we're going to give you a green job.' He says, 'Just leave me alone; I just want my job.' What do we say to the boilermaker? My old man started as a boilermaker in the railway workshops. What are you going to say to them? 'Mate, we're going to get you a green job.' He says, 'Get out of my life and leave me. I believe in my trade. I believe in what I can do with my hands. I believe in the dignity of going to work, working during the day, coming home at night feeling tired and making this nation a better place. I believe in that.' This is what these people believe in. They are patriots. They stand behind their nation with the work of their hands and the work of their minds.

But you do not believe in it. You believe they should have green jobs. 'We'll just send them back to university. They can all do arts degrees and wander back, and they can pontificate about duck ponds and windmills. They can open up wind chime factories at Nimbin or do basket weaving. We'll all sit squat-legged on the floor and contemplate our omphaloses—contemplate our navels—and think about basket weaving with the Labor Party'—the party that used to be the party of Curtin, Chifley and Fisher. It used to be a party that actually meant something. What happened to you? As a political party, did you all fall over and hit your head?

Anyway, listen to the people tonight. Turn on the radio. Have a listen to them. Have a listen to your future talking to you—coming to you via your radio. They are not happy. I thought we were unhappy; they are really, really unhappy, because they have been smitten by their own family. They have been deserted by their own kind. They have been led down this path where they honestly thought that somehow, at the end of the day, you would not be so naive, so foolish and so cruel as to let them off.

What does this actually do? It is a question that Penny Wong says I have asked her 600 times, yet 600 times I have never got an answer. Never mind St Peter and the cock crowing thrice; we have given this lady 600 goes and still cannot get an answer. The question is: how much does this change the temperature of the globe by? Of course it does not—not at all. Then we had Mr Dreyfus on radio saying, 'Oh, India's got a scheme.' I was fascinated, so I looked India's scheme up. India's price per tonne of carbon is a dollar, and they cannot even monitor it. The price in Europe, stated to be the most corrupted market—not just carbon market but market full stop—in the world, is between $8 and $12 a tonne. What is the price in Australia? It is at $23. And where is it going from there? It is not going down. There is only one direction for it: up.

Where do these wondrous sages who now occupy the treasury bench want to take us? We do not have to live with Doctor Who; we can do it right here. They are taking us back to 1910. They are taking us back to 80 per cent less carbon emissions; that is what we had in 1910. We would all have arrived here with a couple of ponies and a gig—we would have come up here with a Trigger and a Prancer, and there would be nothing to see around here.

I am amazed at the faux nobility of the other side. Last night when they were talking they were bleeding tears of blood all over the floor about the environment and how bad it is. Whilst they were doing that, I had no other choice but to look at the ceiling. I started counting lights. I ran out of a reason to count them when I got past 220. This is the complete hypocrisy that the people out there called voters see. The temperature is always the same in here. It is never hot and never cold. It is perfect. Who pays for that, I wonder. Who pays for it to be that miracle 26 degrees? The taxpayer does. Who pays for the 220 lights? The taxpayer does. Who is going to pay for the carbon tax? The taxpayer will. What is the tax going to do? Nothing. The government complain about us saying no. Well, the ultimate 'no' is this. What will this climate change policy do for the climate? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Diddly squat.

In a couple of days time we are going to have Barack Obama, the President of the United States, here. God bless his soul, because without the United States we would not be here. Where is their climate change model? What are they doing? Nothing. What about the Chinese? Nothing. What about anywhere else? Nothing. Who are the noble saviours who are leading this? It is Julia Gillard. I imagine at night—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Cameron ): Senator Joyce, you should refer to the Prime Minister by her proper title.

Senator JOYCE: I accept your opprobrium. I mean the Prime Minister of Australia. I have absolute and utter respect for that office. That was the office that was held by Curtin, who defended our nation against imminent demise. That was the office of Chifley. That was the office that was held by some of our greatest people. Without them, we would not be here today. That is why it is an absolute disgrace that the dignity of that office and the legacy of Curtin, Chifley, Fisher, Deakin, 'Black Jack' McEwen, Hawke, Howard and Menzies—like them or loathe them, everybody respect­ed them because they represented the will of the Australian people—are being sullied and dragged through the mud. The government are so ambivalent about the dignity of that office that they said, straight down the barrel of the camera on the banks of the Brisbane River, 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.' What an utter fabrica­tion. What an utterly misleading statement. I will tell you what there will be. There will be no government under the carbon tax you lead because it is a fabrication.

I know I am getting to you. You know deep down, like the errant schoolchild who has come home after a big night out with their friends, that now mummy and daddy voter are waiting for you and they are not happy campers. Tonight you are spinning them this yarn and popping the bubbly. And mummy and daddy voter are not happy with you. They are tearing you to pieces tonight on talkback radio. They are tearing you to pieces through the western suburbs. They are tearing you to pieces across this nation because they could not believe you would do this to them.

I believe in Simon Crean. I do. I believe in Simon Crean!

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Joyce, you must use the member's proper title.

Senator JOYCE: Who is he the member for? Does anyone know?

Senator Payne: Minister Crean.

Senator JOYCE: Minister Crean—there we go! Nobody knows where he comes from. It does not really matter. Who cares? He is a bloke from down south. I believe in Minister Crean. But I believe what he said on 29 May 1997 when he was a person based firmly in the Labor Party with its core belief structure, the oldest party in Australia. That party has since left. Now I think the only party that represents their views is sitting right beside me—the DLP. That is it. That is the true soul of the Labor Party now. But I believed this person when he said that he believed in the steel industry because it supported the manufacturing industry of this nation, the defence of our nation and, in his own words, thousands of jobs. I believed in Minister Crean totally in 1997. Minister Crean in 2011 is a completely and utterly different animal. But he is probably the best animal of all the animals on the other side.