Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 16 February 2021
Page: 69


Mr JOYCE (New England) (19:20): You heard it, didn't you, in Shortland? Your member talked about the last part of coal because he's talking about the last part of your jobs. So I say to the people of Warners Bay: the member for Shortland is a fake. I say to the people of Valentine: the member for Shortland is a fake. I say to the people of Cardiff: the member for Shortland wants to put you out of a job. And they know that too. That's why there was a 10 per cent swing against him and that's why the most recent polling says he's gone. It's all over for him. He doesn't even support Newcastle; he supports Parramatta. He's not even from the area. He was transported to the area.

What we are doing on behalf of the people of Shortland is showing, in this amendment, that we are unambiguous about their jobs, that we stand up for coalminers, that we stand up for coal-fired power, that we are willing to put our name to the paper and stand behind their jobs and their future, because the biggest issue for our nation—I hate to say it, but it's not climate change—is the pre-eminence of China as a growing superpower and our need to make this nation as strong as it possibly can be. Our biggest issue is to understand that, in the future, if we get a slide of American influence out from our region we have to make this nation as strong as it can possibly be.

We have to be very mindful of our situation compared to the situation in Europe or the situation in the Americas, because we live in a different part of the world. Anything we can do to make this nation stronger, to bring back its manufacturing, to bring back its capacity to be resilient enough to stand with the problems that may eventuate—if the course of events in the past is to be any sort of guide—means that we must have the capacity to have the cheapest and most reliable power we can possibly get. Australia had the cheapest power when it was coal-fired power, and now we have the dearest power in the OECD. I acknowledge that some of my colleagues will take umbrage at what I do, but the difference is, Member for Shortland, I'm prepared to do it. You're not. That is the precise difference. People out there want to see you stand behind their jobs.

We've got to make sure that we are prepared to sell this product to the rest of the world—and we are. Our nation's largest export is fossil fuels. It is not computers. It is not motor cars. It is not kitchen renovations. It is not agriculture. Our biggest export is fossil fuels. If we are going to say that we believe it is right and just export this to the rest of the world—as I do—surely it is logical that you would also produce the best and most efficient technology to use it and stand behind that product by saying: 'We will build it in Australia. We will show you how to use it best.' If it's not the advent of China's expanding power and pre-eminence, it's our debt. And we've got to have a strong economy to be able to repay it. We've got to make sure that we take every advantage we possibly can.

Look at what's happening now in our nation. The Altona fuel refinery's closing down. That leaves us with about two fuel refineries. Vales Point is no longer going into expansion. That is an issue. Liddell is closing down. We've had blackouts in Manly. We've had blackouts in Hunters Hill. Our power system is at an edge, and we have to break away from this quasi-religion that has possessed the place where you are not even allowed to talk. You're not even allowed to mention the word 'coal' in many instances. I have to say the member for Shortland's fallen into that trap, and his own people know it. Why do they know it? Because they have to live with the experience of power prices that are driven in many instances by a section of the community which has a lot more spare cash than the people in Kurri do, which has a lot more spare cash than the people in so many areas of the member for Shortland's electorate. They probably have a lot more spare cash than the people of Caves Beach.

These people want to make sure that we do the right thing by them, which is cheap and affordable power. In the past they had it, and now they don't. If we keep driving this agenda where we can't even discuss high-intensity low-emission coal-fired power but in the same breath out of the other side of your mouth say, 'But I believe in the coal industry', it looks like complete and utter hypocrisy. It looks like you're completely and utterly dodgy, and you're not philosophically correct. You can't say you support the coal industry but you don't support the usage of coal.

And when they say, 'Oh, well, other parts of the world aren't using it,' might I remind you that in the so-called transition by Japan, they're not transitioning out of coal; they're transitioning from old coal-fired power stations into high-intensity low-emission new coal-fired power stations as part of their plan in 30 years to transition. Even in China, where we export coal to, they're building right now in excess of 160 new coal-fired power stations.

We had a German delegation in our office. We're always told the Germans don't use it anymore. I asked the question—it's in the Hansard—are you using coal-fired power? They said, 'We are refurbishing our brown coal-fired power stations.' So there are a lot of facts that are lost, and to comply with the tenets of a religion but to absolve yourself of the facts we have got to make sure that in a path to cleaner energy—which I have no problem with; it's logical—we put all the opportunities that are before us and we represent that in the bills that we vote for. I will be moving an amendment for high-intensity low-emission coal-fired power.

An opposition member interjecting

Mr JOYCE: And to take the interjection about the market: if the market decides they don't want to build one, well, they don't want to build one. That's their choice. If the market decides they don't want to build one they don't want to build one, but they've got to have that opportunity. And the member for Shortland is saying within this bill they can't. So that is the issue and it is still good to be able to stand at the very back of the chamber, like I did at the front, and stir these people up. The reason you get under your skin is because they know full well that it hurts at their home base. The people in their hometowns are saying, 'Why are you not standing behind my industry? Why are you not standing behind my house payments? Why are you not standing behind my job? Why are you not standing behind the cost of putting my kids through school? Why are you not standing behind my capacity to have the boat, the car, of my choice? Why are you forcing me into a lower paid job? Why is your religion driven by the inner suburbs of the major capitals when you used to be the labour party? When you lost the 'u', you lost me.' You no longer believe in the people who put you there, in the reason your party was created. You have stepped away from it.

Might I say that, of the more wily politicians who exist in this place, there is one who has smelt the breeze and he sits over there now. He used to sit down there. The member for Hunter. And the member for Hunter went home and realised that he probably wouldn't have a job unless he changed what he was saying. I'll say to you, Member for Shortland: you're going to lose your job. You're gone. We've done the polling on you. You're dead. You're gone. You're finished.

Mr Conroy interjecting

Mr JOYCE: Yes, we have. And I'll tell you: it's your own people. They don't want to vote against you but they feel they have to vote against you.

Mr Conroy: I'll be around long after you, mate.

Mr JOYCE: Mate, you won't be. And that's the trouble, because, you see, you're a leftie with a Greens policy in a Labor seat.

Debate interrupted.