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Monday, 11 September 2017
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Senator ROBERTS (Queensland) (13:46): As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I want to argue the case for freedom. I also argue that we are opposed to real pollution because Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party is fundamentally in favour of protecting the environment. However, we believe that the best people to protect the environment are the people who are managing the environment—farmers, industrialists and employees. We are against real pollution, and that's what the Product Emissions Standards Bill 2017 seeks to address. Real pollutants, like carbon monoxide—not carbon dioxide—like particulates, like sulphur dioxide and like nitrous oxide, are the things that affect people's quality of life and respiration. These are the things that blanketed out the sky and the stars from London for 600 years, until the advent of modern coal-fired power stations. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, as Senator Rice alluded to. Carbon dioxide is fundamentally not on the list of pollutants anywhere in this planet, because carbon dioxide is essential to all life on this planet. Carbon dioxide is nature's essential trace gas that is essential for life on this planet. It is essential for everything green on this planet, as a part of the process of photosynthesis that gives us our food, our forests, our grass and our seaweed.

I want to talk about real pollutants and how we need to reduce them. I also want to talk about reality. What the Greens are fomenting and advocating is an increase in real pollutants—carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide and particulates. The Greens are saying that we need to cut the production of carbon dioxide, which is essential for all of life on this planet. They want to do that by increasing taxes. When that happens we will see an increase in electricity costs in this country, and the production of electricity increasing overseas at the risk of our jobs. That is what is happening; it is the reality of what is happening. We are shutting down industry here, losing our aluminium smelters and losing our car plants. We won't be making aluminium soon. We won't be making cars after the end of this year. That is now being transferred overseas, creating jobs in Asia, jobs in Africa and jobs in North America, thanks to Donald Trump, and we see them shutting down here. That is increasing our cost of living, decreasing our standard of living and decreasing our quality of life.

Senator Rice advocates the use of bikes and walking. Well, try telling that to people who live in Bourke or Boulia or Birdsville—or even Brisbane or even Bardon. That is not real. That is just a pipedream. But I want to go on to something else. She talks about coal. Well, let's talk about coal. Coal is used to make steel. Everything around us, except the flesh in our bodies, depends upon steel. The clothes are made from cotton or made from wool. They are harvested and sewn, in fact, with steel based implements. And what's the key ingredient to steel? Coal. Coal is responsible for our food. It is responsible for our clothing. It is responsible for our shelter, our homes. It is responsible for our industry because steel is a part of all of those industries. Steel is fundamental to transport: cars, buses, trucks and pushbikes. It is fundament to the leather thongs and sandals that the Greens want to wear. Coal is fundamental to steel, and that is fundamental to every aspect of our transport.

What we are seeing is that the Greens are trying to destroy this debate by bringing in carbon dioxide when, in fact, to be clear, the emissions of concern in this package are actual pollutants: carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide particulates and nitrous oxides. Carbon dioxide is not a part of this framework, but the Greens keep talking about it. That illustrates why carbon dioxide has been demonised and is now, in the minds of most school kids, seen as a pollutant when it is not. It is not listed anywhere in the world as a pollutant.

Then the Greens talk about clean power. What is clean power? They never define what clean power is. But they say that the way to generate clean power is in windmills and solar farms. Windmills rely upon steel. Windmills rely upon electricity to be made. And where does that electricity come from in China? It comes from coal—Australian coal, in places. What we see is the subsidies for windmills and solar farms in this country driving industry in other countries. We are subsidising the industrialisation of China. They're going hell for leather on coal-fired power stations. This Greens insanity is just that.

I want to talk about the way humans have reduced real pollutants. I want to illustrate, for example, Honda Motor Company. Honda Motor Company's founder was Soichiro Honda. He visited Lake Tahoe in the 1970s and he saw on the water of that beautiful lake something that looked like oil. He asked his sales people what that was on the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe. They said that was oil from two-stroke motors. He made a vow then and there to never build a two-stroke outboard motor, even though it was lighter and used less fuel. Instead, he worked savagely on reducing the weight, the cost and the complexity of four-stroke outboard motors because they are inherently less polluting, and he worked on improving their efficiency and reducing their cost. As a result, Honda makes no two-stroke outboard motors. Honda Motor Company in the 1970s brought in pollution levels that were lower than the mandated requirements all through the seventies and all through the eighties. Why? When they studied the combustion of fuel in a cylinder chamber, Honda Motor Company worked out that being more efficient would produce less pollution, increase power and increase fuel efficiency. The way to improve the efficiency and reduce the pollution of engines is to have a standard and then let companies get at it. That's what we are seeing here.

We commend the government for addressing real pollution—carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxides—and we condemn the Greens for trying, yet again, to tell a lie to the Australian people, that carbon dioxide needs to be cut, when it doesn't. We see all around us a dependency on coal. We see the Greens talking about the lights that are powered by coal, but not the cotton, not the timber, not the clothes, not the speakers and not the steel—nothing else in this room that is generated by steel, which depends upon coal. Why is it that the Greens will let go of half of the coal production in this country and let it go overseas? Because they are not game to tackle the fact that steel is in everything.

The Greens campaign is a lie. The Greens campaign is distorting reality. The Greens campaign fundamentally contradicts empirical evidence. We've had no warming for 22 years. The largest temperature trend in the last 160 years was 40 years of cooling from the 1930s to 1976. Temperatures were warmer in Australia in the 1890s than today. Carbon dioxide from human activity is not affecting the temperature. What's more, we know that carbon dioxide from human activity is not even affecting the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In 2009, we had a recession, and carbon dioxide production from humans decreased, yet the level in the atmosphere increased because the oceans control that. The oceans contain 50 times more carbon dioxide in dissolved form than is in the entire atmosphere.

Lastly, I want to point out to the Greens that every warmer period in the past has been called a climate optimum, because it has been highly beneficial to humans, to the natural environment and to all plant and animal species. If we could increase the temperature, we would, but we can't control it. If we could increase the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we would, but we can't control it. What we want to do is make a clear distinction between carbon dioxide and the real pollutants. We note, contrary to what the Greens imply, that this bill does not refer in any way to carbon dioxide production; it refers only to real pollutants: sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides and particulates. That is why Pauline Hanson's One Nation party is in favour of progress. That's why we support coal. That's why we support steel. That's why we support freedom of choice. Pauline Hanson's One Nation party is in favour of the cutting pollution. That's why we support this bill.