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Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Page: 5476


Senator IAN MACDONALD (6:58 PM) —I appreciate and acknowledge what the Minister for Climate Change and Water has just said and I have indicated to Senator Abetz and our whip that I will only be a couple of minutes in my contribution. I am absolutely sick and tired of the myths that continue to be propagated by the Greens political party. We just had another instance 10 minutes ago when Senator Brown was saying that the Great Barrier Reef, the 64,000 jobs it generates and all the money that comes from the Great Barrier Reef will be destroyed because we did not pass the CPRS Bill during the week. That is absolute myth. It is fantasy. It is absolutely ridiculous. What will save the Great Barrier Reef is if the United States stops emitting, if China stops emitting, if India stops emitting, if Russia stops emitting, if Indonesia stops emitting, if Colombia stops emitting, if South Africa stops emitting and if the rest of the world stops emitting. With less than 1.4 per cent of the world’s emissions, to suggest that by passing a bill last week that dealt with a small section of Australia’s less than 1.4 per cent of emissions Australia would cure all the ills that the Great Barrier Reef may or may not be facing is just fantasy.

The Greens continue to propagate those sorts of myths. Regrettably, they con some people. Some people go along with that, but as someone who lives up there, who understands and loves the reef and who is concerned to make sure that the reef is in the best possible state, I want to achieve an outcome that is real. But this parliament is simply passing a bill dealing with less than 1.4 per cent—

Honourable senators interjecting—


Senator IAN MACDONALD —You can laugh! The Greens, I suspect, almost believe their own conning of the Australian public, although they are clever enough to realise that it is a great con job on the Australian people. I will not sit by and let the Australian people be conned, particularly in relation to the Great Barrier Reef, by the sorts of drivel that comes out of the mouths of the Greens political party members.

I promised Senator Abetz that I would not take more than three minutes and I do understand the point that Senator Wong has made so I will cease there, but I could not, in all honesty, allow that sort of conning of the Australian public to go unchallenged.