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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 3992

Environment


Mr HOGAN (Page) (15:06): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. Will the Deputy Prime Minister update the House on what action the coalition government is taking to secure the health and productivity of Australian waterways? How is this government's commitment to our valuable water resources helping to boost jobs and growth in my electorate of Page and across the nation?


Mr JOYCE (New EnglandDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources) (15:06): I thank the honourable member for his question. If there is one thing that we are very focused on, it is making sure of the environmental health of our rivers and waterways. It was great to be able to announce the $15 million that we will put towards the eradication of carp. We know that it is incredibly important. We are afflicted with these disgusting, mud-sucking creatures—bottom-dwelling, mud-sucking creatures. The only form of control is a version of herpes; it is the only thing that will get rid of these disgusting, mud-sucking creatures. We will move forward on this because we believe that we should be getting rid of these disgusting, mud-sucking creatures in order to support some of the better animals of our waterways—the silver perch, the yellowbelly, the Murray cod, the Eastern cod and the catfish. We do not want to deal with carp; we have to get rid of the carp. When we have dealt with this virus, we are going to have between 500,000 and two million tonnes of carp. We often bury the carp, put it in the paddocks or put it underground—it will probably take the place of horse manure.

It is really important that we have a healthy nation and a strong economy. You have to go to some extreme measures at times to make sure that we keep our economy and our environment healthy—even if it requires a version of a venereal disease to deal with the carp. If that is what is required, then that is what is required. We are looking forward to keeping the Peel a very healthy river. We want the Balonne—it is a shame to see the member for Moreton is no longer here—to be a healthy river. We want the Hunter to be a very healthy river; we want the Clarence to be a healthy river; and we would love the Fitzroy to be a healthy river. We want the Murray and the Murrumbidgee to be healthy rivers. We in the coalition are going to make sure that we have healthy rivers and a healthy economy, because we are going to get rid of the carp.