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Thursday, 10 November 2016
Page: 2464

Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (12:39): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted.

Senator McGRATH: The government opposes this motion because the coalition supports investment and jobs for regional Queensland. The Carmichael project is a $16.5 billion investment that will create direct employment of around 4,200 jobs during construction and over 3½ thousand jobs when it is fully operational. The government welcomes the Queensland government's recent decision to declare the combined mine, rail and associated water infrastructure of the project as critical infrastructure.

The Queensland government says this special prescribed project status is necessary to unblock delays to obtaining a multitude of secondary local government approvals. We also call on the Queensland government to remove any remaining roadblocks to the approval of this project. Without this sort of investment, without jobs, infrastructure like schools, hospitals and transport cannot be paid for and delivered.