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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 297

Senator CANAVAN (QueenslandMinister for Resources and Northern Australia) (14:34): As I mentioned in the first answer to Senator O'Sullivan's question, there was a record amount of exports from our mining sector as well in December 2016. We are exporting record amounts of iron ore and coal, which is a great outcome for our nation. It is a great outcome for the environment too, because we have some of the highest quality coal in the world. In terms of carbon emissions it is better for the world that the world uses our coal and not some other coal in other countries which is not of such high quality. We have had record growth in our exports to China; even the European Union is increasing as a share of our resource exports. What is really important for our nation is that India and other Asian countries are coming onto the map. India is now our biggest destination for metallurgical coal. These parts of the world have strong growth prospects, so it is good for our mining sector.

Senator O'SULLIVAN (Queensland) (14:35): Green coal—that is the way to go! Is the minister aware of any obstacles in place that are holding back future growth of Australia's resources sector?

Senator CANAVAN (QueenslandMinister for Resources and Northern Australia) (14:35): I will take that as a suggestion and comment from Senator O'Sullivan. He is absolutely right about the government's intent and objective to attract more investment in our resources sector. Obviously the strong outcomes of the sector are helping in that regard, but we are also being proactive and making sure that we facilitate investment coming into this country. That is why we have established the one-stop shop for environmental approvals, a change that we believe will save upwards of nearly $400 million a year in regulatory costs. That will help bring investment to our country, investments like the Amrun project, which was formerly known as the South of Embley project, in Cape York. Senator O'Sullivan would know that full well. That has finally been approved, and it is a great thing for the people of Cape York. It is an area that needs jobs and investment. It has a strong and proud Indigenous community, and they are very proud that that project now takes the name of a local language dialect, Amrun. That is a project of more than $2 billion that is going to drive growth in Cape York. It is another great outcome that our resource industries are delivering for Australia.