Jacinta speaks against a referral to committee of the NT's Middle Arm Project on 8 August, 2023
I rise today to address the blatant hypocrisy of those who are calling for this referral to committee. It is the hypocrisy of those from outside the Northern Territory who are trying to stall and ultimately to stop a project that will help improve the lives of not only Northern Territorians but all Australians and untold numbers of people right around the world. The people of the Northern Territory are sick of politicians and activists from wealthier parts of this country using the Territory to virtue signal to their inner-city bases.
I quote the Northern Territory's Labor Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles:
… it's bad enough to be lectured by people living on Sydney's northern beaches or Melbourne's eastern suburbs about what jobs Territorians can and can't have. But bagging out a development that supports zero and lower emissions energy from a place overwhelmingly powered by coal and oil? The hypocrisy is breathtaking.
I have to admit, I find myself in unfamiliar territory today because I find myself agreeing with the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory. Territorians have had enough of people from cities and economies built on coal and oil lecturing us how we use our resources.
Middle Arm will achieve two things: firstly, it will provide a much needed boost to jobs and to the Northern Territory's economy; but, secondly—highlighting the hypocrisy—Middle Arm will provide cheap and reliable energy through gas that is cleaner and has lower emissions than coal or oil. That's right, not only will Middle Arm help to boost the economy of the Northern Territory but the project will help Australia and the world reduce its carbon emissions. To stand in its way under the guise of environmental protection is hypocritical, short-sighted and plain wrong.
I also note the very high environmental standards to which our resources sector operates. If we were to shirk our international responsibilities and stop providing this high-quality, low-emissions fuel, countries around the world who don't have alternatives will turn to lower quality, higher emitting resources that will increase pollution and environmental damage.
Middle Arm can improve the lives of Northern Territorians, all Australians, help reduce emissions around the world and address the problems that the virtue signallers of this place claim to care so much about. It is a win/win really. It is such a win that it's one of the few clear-cut projects that can receive support from both sides of the political aisle. Coalition governments and Labor governments at both federal and Territory levels have worked together on this project for many years to ensure that it can go ahead with environmental considerations at the forefront of the process.
I absolutely oppose this referral to committee and encourage all involved to get a move on, do whatever they can to speed this project up so that the people of the Northern Territory, some of our most marginalised Australians, can receive the benefits they need and absolutely deserve.
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