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Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Page: 2281

Senator BOB BROWN (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (15:35): I am very sorry that the coalition continues to overlook the Indigenous people of—

Senator Boyce interjecting

Senator BOB BROWN: Senator Boyce might laugh about it, but I spoke to Scott Gorringe, who represents the traditional people—

Senator Boyce: We actually talk to them, Senator Brown; we actually speak to them.

Senator BOB BROWN: You are rudely interrupting. I did not interrupt you, Senator Boyce. I am talking about Scott Gorringe, one of the traditional owners of the Cooper Creek Basin in south-west Queensland, who I did speak to. In fact, I held a joint conference with him in Queensland as they tried to get some recognition of their call for wild rivers preservation in Queensland to be maintained because they are concerned about the rollover of the coal seam gas industry in particular on their traditional lands. But that concern is being drowned out by voices like Senator Boyce, who is now trying to drown me out in this chamber. What a terrible way to treat traditional owners in Queensland!

I also want to speak about the govern¬≠ment's answer to the Australia Institute's report released in Brisbane today showing that the Queensland mining boom is set to destroy 20,000 jobs in the non-mining sectors of the economy, including manu¬≠facturing, small business, tourism and agriculture. I flew over the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, where Mr Clive Palmer, a big Liberal National Party backer in so many ways, wants to open the Waratah coalmine. His own consultants have shown that that one mega-mine, exporting coal out through Abbot Point with the really dangerous potential impact on the Great Barrier Reef, will suck 2,000 jobs out of the current Queensland economy. So what we have here is the mining barons—and, unlike Mr Palmer, most of them are overseas—making huge profits at a big loss of jobs and a huge damaging impact on the non-mining sector of the economy.

The manufacturing sector in Queensland in this mining boom has already declined by 6.5 per cent and international tourism is down by six per cent. This is hurting small business, this is hurting jobs in Queensland and this is pure Liberal National Party policy to keep it going. It is a very poor outlook for the small business sector, for the struggling small business owners and for those people who are employed in the rest of the Queensland economy.