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Thursday, 1 March 2018
Page: 2507




Ms LANDRY (CapricorniaChief Nationals Whip) (14:49): My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Energy. Will the minister update the House on the importance of consistency in energy and environmental policy, in order to attract foreign investment and create jobs for hardworking people in regional Australia? What are the risks associated with the alternative approaches?

Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongMinister for the Environment and Energy) (14:50): I thank the member for Capricornia. I know that as a hardworking local member she is fighting for regional jobs in Rockhampton, in Sarina, in Pioneer Valley and in the coalfields of the Galilee and Bowen basins. The most important mining project for the people in her electorate is the Carmichael mine. That is why eight mayors—Labor mayors and conservative mayors—signed an open letter in support of the Carmichael mine. The mayors of Rockhampton, Mackay, Whitsunday and the Isaac Regional Council signed the letter. These mayors and these local communities have not wavered in their support for the Carmichael mine. Despite the rigorous environmental processes, despite the legal challenges and despite the personal attacks, they haven't wavered in their consistent approach for this mine.

But I tell you what, the Leader of the Opposition has. He will say one thing to the miners in Mackay and another to the baristas in Brunswick. He will say one thing to people in Queensland and another to the people of Melbourne. This is what the Leader of the Opposition said in April last year: 'I support the Adani mine.' But in Batman the Leader of the Opposition says he's 'increasingly sceptical', holding out the prospect that the mine doesn't deserve to go ahead. The member for Shortland says of the Adani mine on his website:

… I welcome the jobs that it will provide in Queensland.

The Leader of the Opposition, on the other hand, says to the people of Batman that the Carmichael mine will create fake jobs—they're never going to materialise, he said. The Leader of the Opposition goes to the Latrobe Valley and says to the workers that coal has a future in Australia. At the same time, the Labor Party supports motions in this place that say coal has no future in Australia. The Leader of the Opposition tells Pauline Hanson that he supports the coal industry.

The SPEAKER: The minister will refer to senators by their correct titles.

Mr FRYDENBERG: Then the Leader of the Opposition will tell Geoff Cousins—

The SPEAKER: I was referring to Senator Hanson, actually.

Mr FRYDENBERG: The Leader of the Opposition will tell Geoff Cousins that if Labor gets to government, they will revoke the Carmichael licence. We know the importance of consistency in policy—consistency in economic policy, consistency in energy policy, consistency in environmental policy. That is why we've created nearly one million new jobs since coming to office. The Leader of the Opposition might be increasingly sceptical about the Carmichael mine, but the people of Australia are sceptical of him.