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Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Page: 14205

Mr O'DOWD (FlynnDeputy Nationals Whip) (11:08): Today I'd like to speak about the coal industry and how last year $66 billion was added to our economy by coal operations, mainly in Queensland and the Bowen Basin, and some, of course, in the Hunter Valley. I have 16 coalmines in my electorate. I have four coal-fired power stations: NRG in Gladstone, Stanwell outside Rockhampton, and Callide B and Callide C at Biloela on the Callide mine site.

Labor are pushing the 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target. This is purely because they want to enhance the Greens policy. I don't know whether it's Labor policy, but we had a situation in Gladstone, my home town, yesterday where the Labor candidate for Flynn came out and said he supports the coal industry full on. This is contrary to what his leader, Bill Shorten, and the Labor Party are saying and what the Greens party are saying. On his latest visit to Gladstone, Bill Shorten moved himself away from having coal in the background when they were doing some photo shoots for the TV cameras. That shows Bill's nonsupport for the industry. This is going to affect thousands of jobs in the Bowen Basin. It will also have an effect on the Gladstone port operations at the RG Tanna coal-loading wharf and the Wiggins Island wharf; on Aurizon, the main transporter of coal from the coalfields into the ports; on the mine workers themselves; and on the small industries that support the coal industry. Small industries in Flynn survive because of the big industries and vice versa. So it is an issue that is very near to my heart.

In Queensland, there are eight coal-fired power stations. They are semi-modern. The one at Kogan Creek is probably the newest and most modern. Those coal-fired power stations have a life expectancy that could extend another 20 years if we invest heavily in them. Bill Shorten and Labor have said that they are not going to invest any more in coal-fired power stations. So where does that leave us? Are they going to invest heavily in renewables? I've got nothing against renewables apart from the cost it causes for users. I quote the fact that a power bill is made up— (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Bird ): I just remind all members to refer to others by their titles, not their names. In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.