All changes made to the description and title of this division.

View division | Edit description

Change Division
senate vote 2021-11-29#1

Edited by mackay staff

on 2022-08-26 08:53:40


  • Business Rearrangement
  • Business - Rearrangement - Put the question


  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the motion proposing the disallowance of the Industry Research and Development (Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program) Instrument 2021 be called on immediately and the question be put after 30 minutes.</p>
  • <p class="italic"> <i>(Quorum formed)</i></p>
  • <p class="speaker">Larissa Waters</p>
  • <p>I rise to speak on this gag motion to make sure that this government can give $50 million of taxpayers' money to a private gas company to frack the Beetaloo basin in the Northern Territory, against the wishes of First Nations owners. There is not a fossil fuel subsidy that this government isn't completely enamoured by.</p>
  • <p>We have just had the Glasgow climate conference, we've just had First Nations people crying out to be heard, and for their rights and wishes to be respected, and this government is now bringing on a gag to ram through the vote on the disallowance motion that the Greens have moved to say, 'No, don't give taxpayer money to a private gas company to frack the Beetaloo basin.'</p>
  • <p>This is a climate bomb. It would emit four times the amount of emissions that the Adani coalmine would. This is exactly the wrong thing to be doing in a climate crisis. It is unbelievable that this government, just three weeks after the Glasgow climate conference, is now having the audacity to try to give even more taxpayers' dollars to private gas companies. I suspect the Liberal-aligned chair of the company, who has made some generous donations to this government, might have a bit of an in there with this government. What a cosy little relationship&#8212;they are giving taxpayer money to their donors to open up a climate bomb, to frack the Beetaloo basin.</p>
  • <p>Today we'll have the vote because this government is bringing it to a vote. It's gagging debate and forcing us to have a vote on this. I will be very interested to see how the opposition vote on this crucial question of whether to give taxpayer subsidies to open up a climate bomb against the wishes of First Nations Northern Territorians. This is a test for the Labor Party. Are they going to vote to give $50 million of taxpayer money to a private gas company to frack the Beetaloo or are they going to find some spine and principles and say, 'No, we don't want the climate to be completely destroyed and we don't want to trash the rights of First Nations Northern Territorians'? This is a test. Will they allow public money to be wasted on propping up a private gas company to make the climate crisis worse?</p>
  • <p>We had the International Energy Agency and the G7 just before Glasgow talk about phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. This government is completely deaf to the science and is completely deaf to the international shift away from fossil fuels and is now wanting to give $50 million of taxpayer dollars to private companies. This government has completely missed the memo. It missed the memo on 2030 and increasing targets so that we can have a liveable climate that safeguards nature, that protects our agriculture and that protects beautiful natural assets like the Great Barrier Reef, which has already lost 50 per cent of coral cover through back-to-back bleaching episodes that are driven by the burning of coal and gas.</p>
  • <p>We just had those international bodies say it's not a great idea to open new coal and gas and not a great idea to continue fossil fuel subsidies to do so. This government have their fingers in their ears and say, 'Of course we want to keep giving free money to our donors to wreck the climate,' because not only do they want to pay back those donors but they want cushy lobbying jobs once they leave parliament. I hope they will be on the opposition benches very soon. No doubt they'll be looking at and lining up those cushy gas company jobs. We know several former politicians from this chamber and the other chamber have gone to represent big gas companies and even APIA, the gas representative body itself.</p>
  • <p>That cosy little relationship sees First Nations' rights trashed and sees the climate crisis turbo charged. What an absolute crock. Why on earth would the opposition be supporting this? This is a test for them. Are they going to support the gag to bring this on for a vote? Are they going to support giving $50 million of taxpayer money to frack the Beetaloo basin?</p>
  • <p>We have schools and hospitals that are desperate for additional funding. We have front-line domestic violence services that are desperate for additional funding. People can't afford to go to the dentist and people can't afford to get mental health care. They are the sorts of things that taxpayer dollars should be spent on&#8212;dental and mental into Medicare. We should have fully funded schools, fully funded hospitals and funded renewable energy projects. But, no, this government won't have a bar of any of that. It wants to give taxpayer money to private gas companies with links to the Liberal Party to frack the Beetaloo basin, to open up a gas basin that would be four times as bad for the environment as Adani would be and that would represent 13 per cent of Australia's domestic emissions. You could not make this up. This could not make any less sense. This government is so cosy with its gas donors and its coal donors and cares so little about First Nations' rights that it is willing to have this conversation three weeks after the Glasgow climate crisis&#8212;for shame!</p>
  • <p>I add for the benefit of the chamber that we have got the crossbench on this&#8212;all of them. Labor will decide whether $50 million of public money goes to these private companies. They are the swing vote here. Every single crossbencher&#8212;and I thank all of the crossbenchers for their support&#8212;says, 'No, I don't want to give taxpayer dollars to these companies,' many of whom don't even pay corporate tax in Australia, because they have fancy accountants that can exploit loopholes that this government couldn't be bothered changing. They're not even paying tax and yet they're getting massive subsidies from the taxpayer. That's why many of the crossbench will be voting to say: 'Don't give these tax dodgers more money, in a climate crisis and against the wishes of First Nations owners.'</p>
  • <p>This is a test for the Labor opposition. Will they gag this and ram it through? And will they then sit once again with the government, on the side of coal and gas, to trash the climate and to absolutely insult the wishes of First Nations people in the Beetaloo basin? I really hope that Labor do the right thing, because the people of Australia would like a choice at the next election. They'd like to know that there's a bit of difference between the two big parties. They don't want it to be just the Greens who are standing for the climate and for First Nations rights. It's not too much to ask in a democracy for the opposition to oppose. We don't expect anything better from this government, who are giving yet more taxpayer dollars to the gas companies, but we had hoped that the Labor opposition would decide that schools and hospitals and renewable energy were a better spend than giving money to private gas companies with cosy links to the Liberal Party, against the wishes of First Nations owners.</p>
  • <p>I'll conclude my remarks there because I know that many of our Greens senators wish to speak on this and they feel as passionately about this issue as I do. We'll be speaking both to the substantive and to the procedural debate here. Our First Nations Senators Lidia Thorpe and Dorinda Cox will make powerful contributions.</p>
  • <p>This is yet another example of the joke that is the trashing of First Nations rights in this country. We should be talking about free, prior and informed consent; instead, the government is talking about free public money to a private gas company and just thumbing its nose at First Nations communities. It's utterly unacceptable. I look forward to the contributions from other senators.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Don Farrell</p>
  • <p>As this is the last day to consider this motion for disallowance, I rise to say that Labor will be supporting the motion to ensure the debate is concluded to allow the Senate to express its opinion on the substantive motion, rather than allowing the regulation to be disallowed by the effluxion of time. It has been our consistent position that senators should be able to vote on disallowance motions.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the question be now put.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Slade Brockman</p>
  • <p>The question is that the question be put.</p>
  • <p></p>
  • <p></p>
  • The majority voted in favour of a [motion]( to end debate and vote on [the question]( right away. In parliamentary jargon, they voted "*That the question be now put.*"