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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 2781


Senator JOYCE (QueenslandLeader of The Nationals in the Senate) (13:55): It is amazing: a couple of days ago here, at about this time, Mr Duddy, one of Mr Windsor's supporters, came into the chamber and I gave a very short speech—three minutes—and we are still hearing the repercussions of it. It was quite clear at the time: I was pointing out that Mr Windsor did very well. This bill is to do with water. He was one of the architects of this. He sold his place for three times the price. I did not tell the full truth, because I said that he sold it for $2,000 an acre. He did not. It was nearly $5,000 an acre. That is an awful lot of money. I wondered how he could get such a price. But I went back and I had a look at some of the things he said in his letter to the editor about water, aquifers and mining. He said:

It is believed there will be an application to extend the Coal Company's mining area—

this is on the place he sold—

at some time in the future—that application may impact on "Cintra" land if approval were to be given.

Well, why else would you sell your property to a coalmining company unless you expected it to become a coalmine? And what else could affect an aquifer more than turning your place upside down? This is a place that your father owned, and I do not know how many generations the place has been in the family for. The letter also said:

This portion of coal bearing land on Windsor Family land is … gravel ridge …

A gravel ridge is the type of land that should be mined …

That is what Mr Windsor said. Because he believes that that gravel ridge should be mined, maybe he believes that other gravel ridges should be mined. Maybe he believes that the ridges which he is currently protesting on should be mined. It just is a bit peculiar. How can you possibly have two different positions?

I have to say that I think that he did an extremely good deal. It was probably just good luck—because most people would pay three times the price they have to! That is what you do—you just pay vastly more than you have to! That way, one person, one party, gets vastly more money than they expect—and we never know what the other party gets. Obviously they get the satisfaction of knowing that they bought it from you, and that is all that would be motivating them! That is it—just the satisfaction of knowing they paid three times too much for the asset they just purchased!

This is a very interesting thing. Now we know that Mr Windsor does believe in mining. If you go out of Werris Creek, you can see his mine. It is a big mine, with bulldozers and draglines. It is a big mine—and this is the person who is the champion of aquifers—tearing up the coal so they can ship it off to China. This is the same person who apparently has got a problem with mining in other areas. But he did not have a problem just after he sold the place, back on 28 July 2010. At that time, his problem was not quite so acute, because he says:

A gravel ridge is the type of land that should be mined …

So he is a miner. Coalmine Tony—that is what we call him! 'If mining were to be approved?' Why else would you sell your place to a coalmine unless you thought it was going to be approved for coalmining? What else are they going to put on it—a golf course, a recreation area, a theme park? Why else would you sell your place to a coalmine unless you thought it was going to become a coalmine?

Senator Conroy interjecting

Senator JOYCE: I know that you are going to protect him, because there are a lot of people in the Labor Party who are great friends with Mr Windsor. There are a lot of people in the Labor Party who are very close friends with Mr Windsor. I know you are very close friends because the Labor Party has got to remain close friends with Mr Windsor, don't you, because you are all in this together?

Debate interrupted.