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Monday, 22 July 2019
Page: 558


Mr JOYCE (New England) (20:44): Well, I wasn't going to speak on that, but, after listening to that diatribe, that complete load of rubbish, it obviously requires someone to rebut some of the garbage we've just heard. If the member has the capacity to come in here and move a motion that makes it rain, well he can knock himself out. We'll all vote for it. We'll all vote for a motion to make it rain. If you can move a motion that can tell us, basically a year out, what's going to happen to the weather, move that motion. We'll all vote for that. But you have come in here to do what you always do. You come in here with a mechanism and you afflict on people in rural areas the idea that you will deliver them a climate change policy. Well, a climate change policy does not put food on the table. It does not put food on the table now; it does not look after people now. You would go to my electorate, which is probably the epicentre of the drought, to areas such as Bundarra and Manilla, and you would see people almost living in poverty—there is nothing there—and you would say to them, 'My alternative for you, what the Greens are going to offer you, is the capacity to move a motion to make power dearer.' Basically, that's it: they're going to make power dearer. And, after that, apparently, even though their life is more miserable, they'll feel happy and the weather will stay right where it is.

There is not one thing that this parliament can do to change the weather—not one thing. What it can do is take people who are in a vulnerable position and make them poorer. We've had it in regional areas. The price of power is beyond the capacity of people to pay for it. We have had it in regional areas. We do not have the capacity to take people to a form of dignity that they deserve in their life. The member has offered nothing but a mechanism to garner votes in his inner suburban seat, where they are a thousand miles from the problems that we have been dealing with. We are trying to help people out. We are trying to make sure we give them some form of mitigant, not to the weather but to the poverty and to the pain that they are currently suffering. We are going to make sure, by moving this bill, that we can at least offer them some hope, some prospect, into the long future. We have the capacity to put $100 million on the table, and they can plan. I'll tell you how they can plan. They can plan by building dams and creating water infrastructure, because water infrastructure is the mitigant. Obviously a drought is a time without water, and water gives us the capacity to provide some hope of irrigation.

Also, the Greens Party don't believe in the live cattle industry, don't believe in the live sheep industry, don't believe in the construction of dams and don't believe in a cheap out. What they believe in is affluence. They have the richest constituency in Australia—the affluent and their views—and that is being prescribed for people who are basically trying to make their way through the times. It's not only people on farms but people in towns who just can't afford for this parliament, in this period of time, to not offer them some prospect of hope and some sort of financial life raft to deal with the issues that are before them. We need this to happen.

The Labor Party said at Dubbo that they would not vote against anything that helped in the drought. Then, basically in the next sentence, they put a caveat on that. They put a caveat on the principle. They were going to come back here immediately after the drought summit in Dubbo and play politics. That's what all of this was about. Not once did we hear in question time prior to the election any prospect of them having a drought policy—not once. Not once did they come to the dispatch box. Not once did they go to Sky, the ABC or any media outlet and say, 'This is our drought policy.' Their beliefs are completely disingenuous about looking after regional Australia. They were dealt a savage blow at the last election because they have no view for regional Australia. They were smashed at the last election, especially in Queensland, because they have no view for regional Australia. Now we are seeing that the Labor Party are basically once more back to their old tricks. They're back to their old tricks of disregarding regional Australia and not having any authenticity to drive forward an agenda for regional Australia. They have no views for regional Australia. They're back in the inner suburbs, and the Greens are right there with them. They're their people. St Kilda are their people. That's who they're going to be looking after.

So, we are going to make sure, and the National Party is absolutely proud of the fact, that we drive forward with a tangible outcome that brings real financial benefit—financial benefit by reason of farmhouse allowance, by reason of concessional loans, by reason of the subsidisation of on-farm water infrastructure. These are the things that $100 million a year has been put as a forward proposition, which the Labor Party in the future, if they ever get back into power, if they want to remove it—and I suggest they probably will—will have to legislate to get rid of it.

But we will stand against the Greens. We want to thank Bob Brown. We want to thank him from the depths of our hearts for helping us to win the election. Bob Brown did a great service to our nation. When he decided to go to Central Queensland, he helped the coalition stay in government. He helped remove any prospect of the Labor Party winning the election, so the Greens should be thankful for the work that they've done on behalf of our nation in delivering yet another coalition government to our nation.

We want to thank the left wing of the Labor Party for their tirade against coal because their tirade against coal helped the coalition win the election. We want to thank them for that. And we want to thank GetUp! for concentrating so much on the seat of Warringah. We want to thank them for that because they won Warringah and lost the election. We want to thank them for that. We want to thank this coalition of GetUp!, the Labor Party and the Greens for making sure that we're here for another three years. We want to thank you and, once more, you watch, this bill's going to go through. We want to thank the parliament, and we want to thank the Australian people for making you once again totally and utterly irrelevant.