I rise in the house today for a most pressing and important issue: the threat posed to this great nation by the Australian Greens. Our great country has never faced a greater challenge to its sustainability, prosperity, health and wellbeing than the policies and core platform proposed by the Australian Greens’ agenda. So terrible are these policies that my humble view is that we must urgently, as a nation, turn our attention to the details of the policies that are proposed by this political outfit.
Recently, I wrote to fellow Queensland Senator Larissa Waters—the Greens co-deputy leader, spokesperson for environment and biodiversity, and for mining and resources—and asked her to debate matters affecting Queenslanders and Australians—no answer. Twice in the last six years I have publicly challenged her to a debate and twice she has refused.
We have much to debate, Senator Waters. Queensland and Australia need you and your party to articulate your policies and explain why you are really anti-environment, anti-Australian, anti-jobs and pro-poverty. The topics where we need an honest explanation from you include bread and butter issues that are being talked about around kitchen tables across Australia and Queensland. We need a few explanations. I have a few ‘explains’. Let us look at the issues that you must explain.
Senator Waters, how do you reconcile the failed renewable energy policies that have cost jobs and increased the costs of energy for Australia’s poorest citizens? Note that these renewable energy prices have dramatically raised electricity prices directly creating unemployment, and nowhere is this more obvious than in South Australia—a state crippled in its manufacturing. At night when the wind farms, the wind generators and the wind turbines are turned off because they cannot handle the wind, and there is no solar energy, lack of energy security in a storm means South Australia is stuck with no energy. Its energy security is at stake. Then there is electricity reliability. There is a huge variability in electricity generation from wind farms and these contribute to destabilising electricity generation circuits and distribution circuits. Renewable energies are a recipe for disaster in Australia and yet you are pushing them more.
Please explain how you could possibly oppose the Adani Carmichael mine and why you hate Aussie workers and job creation for Central Queensland. The Adani mine will create thousands of jobs, and that is very humanitarian in its approach. It will alleviate poverty globally. It is necessary to have cheap energy to drive electricity that is accessible to all people around the world, and coal is the first step in doing that. India is the dramatic example of what is happening over there with the provision of cheaper electricity.
The Carmichael mine stands to improve the environment globally, because not only is carbon dioxide of no harm to the climate and the environment, it is of benefit to the climate. With cheap energy, Indians will be able to focus on productivity, and with productivity comes prosperity and with prosperity comes protection of the environment. That has happened in the West. It must happen in India to protect the Indian environment and the environment in other poorer countries.
What empirical evidence do the Greens have that humans are causing climate change by the use of hydrocarbon fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas? The Greens need to prove four simple steps before they can claim their nonsense about humans causing climate change. The very first thing the Greens must do is demonstrate with empirical evidence—that is, measured data and physical observations—that temperatures are rising, are continuing to rise and are doing so unusually. The empirical evidence shows that there is nothing unusual occurring with the temperature. The empirical evidence shows that the same applies to rainfall, snowfall, drought frequency and severity, flood frequency and severity, and cyclone and storm frequency and severity. There is nothing unusual occurring in our temperature. The world’s longest ground-based temperature record—the Central England temperature record—reveals that from the 1650s through to today we have had the normal cycle of natural warming, cooling, warming and cooling, and there is nothing unusual about the latest warming that ended 21 years ago. It shows that we have had nothing but a hiatus—a flat of temperature—in the last 21 years.
If there were a rise in temperature then the second thing the Greens would need to prove is that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere drive the temperature. The fact is, the empirical evidence shows that the temperature changes drive the changes in carbon dioxide levels. That also contradicts the Greens position. The third thing they would need to prove if temperatures were rising and carbon dioxide were causing it is that humans’ production of carbon dioxide drives the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The fact is that the empirical data show that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is completely determined by nature and is independent of human activity. So there is no way that we can affect the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is in fact a product of the changes in temperature, and the temperatures themselves are not changing. Even if all of those things fell in a row for the Greens, the fourth thing they would need to prove is that any warming is detrimental. The fact remains, as the empirical evidence shows, that temperatures in the past have been far warmer, and those periods of warmth have generated important benefits to the environment and to humanity. Warming is not detrimental; it is highly beneficial.
So I ask the Greens: if you cannot produce the empirical evidence—and you cannot—why is it that you have a suite of policies that cause damage to humanity and destroy our precious natural environment? For example, the Greens advocate a renewable energy target of around 90 per cent to 100 per cent. Renewable energy targets of 20 per cent are driving this country bankrupt. The Greens oppose hydroelectricity. Hydroelectricity is the cheapest form of energy that will liberate people from poverty. They oppose coal mining, which is the second-cheapest source of electricity. Their opposition there is hurting humanity. The Greens also want to levy a carbon dioxide tax, which will hurt the poor. The poor are highly vulnerable to the cost of energy. That becomes a highly regressive tax on people who are not able to afford it.
We have not yet heard from the Greens as to why they are anti-worker and constantly call for the massive and regressive rise in tax on average Australians. Their anti-worker policies kill jobs. Their anti-worker policies stop the creation of new jobs. Their anti-environment policies stop human progress. Their anti-Australia policies sell us out to global governance. That is a legacy of the policy advocated by their former leader Bob Brown.
This is a direct offer to Senator Waters: stop hiding
This is a direct offer to Senator Waters for her to stop hiding and join us for a debate. At the very least, have the courtesy to reply to our offer and tell us on behalf of Queenslanders why you will not debate issues of national importance. You need to explain to us why you think you are too important to debate, why you think you are above the Australian people, why you hold everyday Australians in contempt and why you stopped one of the largest and most beneficial projects to our country—
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Roberts, I will just remind you one more time to please direct your comments through the chair rather than direct to Senator Waters.
I thought I had covered that by doing it once, but I understand. I am new to this. Thank you. The Greens agenda is blindly accepted by some media and has been warmly embraced by the Labor Party since the 1980s. Listening to government senators, we would not be surprised to learn that there are Greens party membership cards in many of their wallets. We need the Greens agenda out of the way to get Australia back on track. We need it gone so everyday Australians can finally reduce their cost of living, so we can start to protect our environment and so our economy can reach its full attention
Through you, Mr Acting Deputy President, I would urge Senator Waters to accept my challenge and come out of hiding and have the courage, dignity and honesty to debate me publicly. Thank you.
STATEMENTS BY SENATORS / Senator Roberts / Australian Greens / Wednesday, 12 October 2016
Page: 1603 Senate Database: Source: Parliament of Australia
Chamber Senate on 2017 Item ADJOURNMENT – Citizenship Speaker: Parliament of Australian official Document Copyright: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au Document used for News Reporting.