WAVING his hometown newspaper The Morning Bulletin around in the Senate today, Matt Canavan spoke passionately on the effects Adani had on Central Queensland.
Senator Canavan, who is also the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, explained what the Rockhampton FIFO base announcement for the Carmichael Mine meant for businesses in the region during Question Time today.
He used The Morning Bulletin's front page report on tightening rental vacancy rates as an example of the ripples the announcement has made on the community and housing market.
Here is a transcript of the entire proceedings:
Senator O'SULLIVAN: My question is the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. Can the minister explain what the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine means for businesses in Queensland?
Senator CANAVAN (Queensland-Minister for Resources and Northern Australia): I thank Senator O'Sullivan for his question. It means more business and more jobs, because we're already seeing that impact in Central Queensland, where I'm proud to have my office in Rockhampton.
As I was saying, we're already seeing an impact, because last month Adani announced that thousands of jobs would be based in Rockhampton and in Townsville, a very important development for the people of North Queensland, and on the front page of The Morning Bulletin this morning they report that the Rocky region is seeing the Adani factor hit, and vacancy rates are down.
In June this year, the vacancy rate in Rockhampton was seven per cent for landlords. That was one of the highest in the state of Queensland. Last month, it was reported at four per cent-already falling-and there was positive news from the Adani Carmichael mine. A real estate agent from Rockhampton, Tara, says, 'There'll no doubt be rewards for landlords from the FIFO jobs announced, just as there will be rewards for the wider business community through the economic boost of employment.' And real estate agency owner Pat O'Driscoll says, 'Contracts are already being signed all over Rockhampton, with increased interest in the region as a whole.'
This is exactly what the people of Rockhampton need. They need an economic shot in the arm. That is why we on this side of politics are not shy in supporting the jobs and investment that they need. When I walk down the middle of East Street in Rockhampton, people want jobs, they want employment, they want more business coming to the town. And that's why they want a political party that stands up for their desires and their beliefs, and does not sacrifice their interests to chase inner-city votes in other cities. If you want to represent the people of Central Queensland, you've actually got to act on what they want-and what they want is jobs and investment. They want a political party that stands up for what they need in the future-and we are not shy of doing that.
The PRESIDENT: Senator O'Sullivan, a supplementary question.
Senator O'SULLIVAN: Can the minister update the Senate on what people in Central Queensland are saying about the Adani Carmichael project?
Senator CANAVAN (Queensland-Minister for Resources and Northern Australia): There has been a lot of commentary on this project in the last couple of weeks. Today in the Gladstone Observer two local residents, Lawrie and Carol Kyte, said they were considering voting for Labor for the first time at this election but only if they supported the Adani Carmichael mine. Unfortunately for the Labor Party, they pulled their support for that mine and that project. What Lawrie and Carol Kyte want is a better future for their children. They have two sons who currently have to fly in and fly out to the Wheatstone LNG project in Western Australia. They would prefer that their sons had jobs close to them, but the Labor Party doesn't support that desire. Lawrie Kyte said in the paper, 'Anyone who is going to turn down thousands of jobs is crazy.' But that is what the Labor Party are doing.
Last week we saw Justin Owen, a concrete from Logan, say directly to the Premier, 'Unless you've lived in the regions and seen how hard the locals do it, you don't understand. I'd like to get out there, make a few bucks, get ahead in life and parliamentary off my mortgage.' I support Justin and I want him to have a job and be able to provide for his family. (Time expired)
The PRESIDENT: Senator O'Sullivan, a final supplementary question.
Senator O'SULLIVAN: Can the minister explain who is providing support for the Adani Carmichael Mine, and the creation of jobs in the north?
Senator CANAVAN (Queensland-Minister for Resources and Northern Australia): As I said earlier, the Liberal National Party support this project. We're rock-solid in our support for jobs in Central Queensland and North Queensland-and joining us is the former mayor of Rockhampton, Margaret Strelow, a high-profile member of the Labor Party who unfortunately failed in preselection due to factional deals. Margaret says that the Adani mine is 'a generational opportunity for us'. She said: 'We see this as an entrepreneurial opportunity to service the Galilee, not just this mine but for others as well.' Well, I too am happy to stand with former members of the Labor Party in supporting the Adani Carmichael mine. The former mayor of Rockhampton hasn't left the Labor Party; the Labor Party has left her. The Labor Party has deserted Rockhampton. They used to support Central Queensland. They used to support beef jobs. They used to support mining jobs. But now they are too busy chasing votes in Brisbane to duly represent the people of Central Queensland. So I'll stand with Margaret and the people of Central Queensland and get this mine and these jobs going.