Press conference speech at the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association.
SENATOR THE HON MATTHEW CANAVAN
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
25 July 2019
Well, thank you, thank you very much Andrew and thank you ladies and gentlemen. I- on my way up here I was sort of thinking about what I’d say and I thought, oh, I might start on the election. And Andrew, you’ve beaten me to it and now you want me to be clean so I might not start with that but maybe I’ll get to that. But I do want to recognise Joel Fitzgibbon here, good to see you Joel and I do hope for that bipartisan support for the sector. Martin Ferguson, here as well, I recognise you as a former resources minister. Great resources minister, great to see you here. And lots of other colleagues that I have that I can’t name all.
I- so I don’t want to start with the election. I- then thought well look, I might start with a quote I was thinking about this afternoon from Lord of the Rings of all places. And during Lord of the Rings at one of the low points in their battle against the forces of Mordor, Samwise turns to Mr Frodo, there is some good in the world and it’s worth fighting for. And I do think there is some good in this industry. There is some good in the resources sector. There is some good about supplying affordable and reliable energy to the world. There’s some good in allowing a young family in a rural part of South-East Asia to be able to provide lights for them, 24 hours a day, allow their children to study. There’s some good in allowing people to have heating and cooling in the world, and therefore there is some good in the energy and resources that we provide to the world. And that also means, given I do think that quote is correct, that there is some good and some worth in us fighting for that industry and defending it.
And that’s what I do try and do, and that brings me to the election perhaps, but I did- I do try and fight, you know, for this sector and I- yes, the last few months and maybe year has been dominated by things like coal but when you fight for something that’s good, you deliver results and you do sometimes defeat the forces of Mordor. And at the election …
… there was clearly- not that any of them are here tonight, but at the election it’s very clear. Someone sent me- a good mate of mine sent me a regression he did the other day that unfortunately some of it was uncomfortable(*). But fortunately for some here tonight the- there is statistically significant relationship between a polling booth’s distance from the Adani Carmichael Mine and the swing to Liberal-National Party. Every hundred kilometres close to the mine, the LNP’s vote went up by 1.2 percentage points. There’s some good in fighting for those jobs, for what this sector provides and that’s what I try and do, and I very much welcome what APPEA is doing in also fighting for this industry through this campaign and other things. And I know you’re doing that because yesterday my wife sent me a text saying that, oh, I just heard an ad on the radio saying how many jobs the gas industry provides – obviously part of your campaign – and you know, things are lost through text, but as I received the text it sort of was written in a way that I thought this was news to her, that the gas industry provided jobs. And I thought I might not be doing my job very well if even my wife doesn’t know that, but I do want to recognise the work you are doing Andrew and APPEA to promote the good in this industry. It is very important that you do so.
But I want to finish on saying that the good that the industry provides is not gas and the good that the coal industry provides is not coal. The good that the wind industry provides is not wind. The good is the benefits that are provided to poor(*) people around the world, the jobs that are provided to people here in Australia, the revenues that are provided to state and Commonwealth governments to help fund public services. They’re all the goods and they are common across the whole resources sector. It doesn’t matter if you’re exporting gas or coal or maybe hydrogen in the future. Whatever it is, all of them produce that good and therefore in my view it would be good if the sector as a whole stands together to promote those goods, to fight for those goods, defend those jobs and defend this great Australian industry.
I also just want to add that I always am passionate to see one of the goods that the industry provides is benefits to Australians. That includes the land owners on which your operations occur. So it’s very important that they receive, in my view, a disproportionate share of the benefits given the impact that’s imposed on them. And that also we use our resources to develop our own economies, too. It’s good that we can help develop poorer countries, particularly, in the world but I am an Australian and I want to see Australian jobs and Australian manufacturing promoted as well. Hopefully we can achieve that too as we further develop this industry in coming decades. Thank you very much for all the work you do and thank you for fighting for this great industry and you know I’ll continue doing that as well.
Thank you and God bless.