14 May, 2017
Courtesy of the Courier Mail
THE Australian Parliament is supposed to be a place where we work for you. Last week the Labor Party forgot that by refusing to do one extra day of work to help thousands of Queenslanders get a job. The Parliament is amending a law to ensure indigenous Australians can continue to benefit from the jobs and opportunities from a whole range of projects across Australia. That includes mining, agriculture and infrastructure. The amendments are required to make sure the voices of a majority of traditional owners continue to be heard through indigenous land use agreements.
The agreements allow for projects to go ahead to the benefit of both traditional owners and local communities.
Indigenous groups have asked the Government to make the changes as soon as possible. The
Party they support changes, but this week in the Parliament they flat out refused to turn up for one extra day that would mean the new laws could be passed now instead of in one month’s time.
Now I know many Australians would love to knock off early on a Friday, but when we’ve got such important work to do, the Labor Party’s no-show risks a no-go for thousands of Queensland jobs.
One of the projects affected by the Labor stop work is the $16.5 billion Adani Carmichael Mine in central Queensland.
Adani wants to make a final investment decision in a few weeks’ time on a project (pictured) that would create more than 3000 jobs itself, and open up a new resources basin that could create more than 15,000 jobs.
After seven years of delays and deferrals, Adani wants to get moving. Other projects like this are also on the line because of Labor’s games.
The truth is, the Federal Labor Party is torn between its green collar and its blue collar. Bill Shorten this week said that he wanted to support jobs for Australians, but actions speak louder than words.
All too often it’s the Greens who call the shots in the Labor Party.
As indigenous leader Warren Mundine said, this is about more than the Adani mine – it’s about providing real job opportunities for indigenous people and all Australians.
While Labor Party senators spend this weekend at home, mostly in the capital cities, I hope they take the time to remember – instead of a stop-work, we need to kickstart jobs in regional Queensland.
Matthew Canavan is an LNP Senator and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia