I'm delighted to update the Senate on the progress that has occurred at the Adani Carmichael mine, especially the progress that has occurred since 18 May. The progress is going well. There are now in fact around 150 people employed at the site at Carmichael in outback Queensland. They're moving dirt.
Senator McDONALD (Queensland) (14:59):
My question is to the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. Can the minister update the Senate on recent progress of the Adani Carmichael mine site?
Senator CANAVAN (Queensland—Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (14:59):
I'm delighted to update the Senate on the progress that has occurred at the Adani Carmichael mine, especially the progress that has occurred since 18 May. The progress is going well. There are now in fact around 150 people employed at the site at Carmichael in outback Queensland. They're moving dirt. Around 50 different big yellow things—big pieces of earthmoving equipment—are there, and they have already moved a sum total of 100,000 cubic metres of dirt, producing and developing this nation-building project. Construction has started on a five-kilometre dam wall at the site, too.
Yesterday, I thanked the Australian Greens for demonstrating the benefits of natural gas, with their hot air balloon demonstration outside. I've got another thing to thank the Australian Greens for today: if you want more of the progress at the Adani Carmichael mine site, you can just log on to Facebook. Many of the desperate, daily, vain Facebook live streams of anticoal activists are there for you, and you can see in the background all the work happening at the Carmichael site. It's continuing to happen. People have a job. People have hope. People have a future in Central Queensland, thanks to this project.
I also welcome the fact that Adani recently announced they would open an office in my home town of Rockhampton, to build on the headquarters they have in Townsville, where hundreds of people are employed. I look forward to joining the local member, Michelle Landry, who has fought so hard for these projects over the years. When that office is opened in Rockhampton, what a great day it will be for Rocky. It will have an office of a major mining company that employs people not just out at the mine site but also in town in office jobs, giving young people, in particular, in Central Queensland opportunities for a future so they don't have to move away just to get a job.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT:
Senator McDonald, your first supplementary?
Senator McDONALD (Queensland) (15:01):
What economic opportunities lie ahead for Central and North Queensland now that construction of this project has gone ahead?
Senator CANAVAN (Queensland—Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and Deputy Leader of the Nationals in the Senate) (15:02):
I thank Senator McDonald for that question. As I said, this project is going very well. It is not just about this project, though; it is about opening up a new area of wealth generation for our nation. This will be the first coal basin opened in this country in 50 years, and that will mean more investment and more jobs. There are another five potential mines going through various stages of approval. All up, they could deliver 16,000 direct jobs in mining and a massive increase in economic wealth and opportunity for this country. It's summed up best by the people who live there in Central Queensland—people like Kel Appleton, who owns the Grand Hotel in Clermont. He said:
After years of tough times, the Galilee Basin is more than an opportunity for us.
It's our chance to have the things city people take for granted, things like a strong, stable income and hope for your children. People don't realise that if the mines close, so do the towns.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT:
Senator McDonald, a second supplementary?
Senator McDONALD (Queensland) (15:03):
Are you aware of any recent developments that would undermine the coal industry in Central and North Queensland and put at risk our economy and local jobs?
Senator CANAVAN (Queensland—Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and Deputy Leader of the Nationals in the Senate) (15:03):
I thought there had been some other good progress since 18 May, because since that date we have seen some Labor senators and others express a degree of support for the coal industry. Senator Chisholm and my good mate Joel Fitzgibbon in the other place have been saying they might support coal jobs now, given that they nearly lost their jobs six months ago. But now we see that all of that was just talk, because yesterday we saw the Labor Party announce that they will buckle to the activists who are protesting in our streets and declare a climate emergency. Why are they doing this? It's because they want the preferences and the votes of the Greens over the jobs of people in regional areas like Central Queensland. They'll never fight for jobs. They'll never fight for your job. They'll never defend your industries. They will always sell you out just to get a vote.