SUBJECTS: New mines in Australia;Abortion Laws
DAVID KOCH: The two areas most likely to be considered are Liverpool Plains in New South Wales and alongside Adanis Carmichael project in Queenslands Galilee Basin. For their take were joined by Nationals MP, Barnaby Joyce, and Shadow Minister for Resources, Joel Fitzgibbon. Gentlemen thanks for your time. Barnaby the people of the Liverpool Plains, which takes in your electorate, fought hard against the approval of Chinese Shenhua mine, which was given the go ahead in 2015. Will they be happy with the news of another potential mine being built there?
BARNABY JOYCE: Well, I dont support a mine in the Liverpool Plains. I do support coal mining, but not anywhere. There is coal underneath Sydney; I dont think anyone is suggesting we put a coal mine there, and the country of the Liverpool Plains is the best country in Australia, and the Galilee Basin entirely different story. There is obviously we have to support coal mining, its our biggest export. We must support the development further development with India, because we have to have something to balance China if that relationship becomes fructions. Weve got to have another market so that we can earn the export dollar, so that we can earn the revenue to support your hospitals, support your schools, support your infrastructure in this nation. But its not any mine, anywhere at any cost. Remembering most those approvals the vast majority are state approvals, but obviously for our national economy, for the revenue we earn, for the times that were in, and for the income we need, coal is going to be a major part of what this nation does.
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: And the Liverpool Plains, such beautiful soil itd be a shame to dig it up for a coal mine. However, you know, coal were sticking with coal for while longer because we havent got any alternatives yet. Joel, you often see such a divide on this issue city and regional residents totally opposed on this. We saw that with Adani with Queensland and with the Federal election recently. As the Shadow Resources Minister, will Labor support the building of new coal mines in Australia, yes or no?
JOEL FITZGIBBON: Absolutely. Labors policy forever has been to mine and export our relatively clean and efficient coal, and we will continue to have such a policy. Look, our wealth has been largely built off the back of the resources sector, and if we want to maintain our standard of living we need to continue to support our resources sector, including our mining sector. And greater diversity in our markets can only be a good thing because we dont want to become too dependent on any particular market, including China, because our relationship under this Government has deteriorated over the last few years so diversity will be very important.
ARMYTAGE: All right lets move onto another issue making headlines today theres passionate debate from both sides; theres a Bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales. The Attorney-General is pushing for an amendment to make it harder for women to access late-term abortions that is after 22 weeks. Barnaby, youve been very outspoken on this, you say two separate doctors cant be trusted to decide on the health of the mother and the unborn child.
JOYCE: What Im saying quite clearly is were dealing with two people. Once a baby is viable able to be born this legislation as its currently proposed allows a baby the day before its born to be aborted, terminated and I dont think anybody believes that is reasonable. I havent met anybody that believes thats reasonable. They say its rare. Well, put it in the legislation and make it more than rare, make it not possible. I dont believe that two doctors as good as they are are endowed with some omnipotent power. We see now that we have ethics committees and other issues that deal with late-term abortions. I was listening to a doctor the other day from the south-west of Sydney talking about the process that they go through. We have to recognise that if a healthy baby can be born we must respect their rights, and if we dont, I think weve taken the respect of other persons to another level. If we were to say that other people at other stages of life their could be stopped by the reason of the view of two doctors, I think people would say that is totally unreasonable. We see we know so much more now. We have such an advance in medicine that weve got to take into account that when you see a baby in its human form in an ultra-sound, you recognise it as a person and we must allocate it some rights rights and protections surely that is self-evident.
KOCH: Joel, whats your view?
FITZGIBBON:Well, Barnabys trying to make this debate about something much more than it is. The New South Wales debate is about the decriminalisation of termination in New South Wales. I absolutely support the Bill. I absolutely support choice for women. Its a matter between a woman and her doctor. And I ask Barnaby who brought his own personal circumstances into this debate how he wouldve felt if on his partners first pregnancy pressure came to bear and she took a unilateral decision to terminate that pregnancy, how would he feel if shed been prosecuted under the Criminal Code. Thats a circumstance we dont want happening in New South Wales, or indeed, anywhere else in Australia.
ARMYTAGE: Barnaby, what do you think?
JOYCE: Well, Id say that that actual event being prosecuted hasnt happened. This code has been working quite well. What Id also say is that I must talk about the issue. The issue is the protection of an individuals right. My views are not as important as a self-evident prospect that a person exists before they are born. If a baby is born a week late, does that mean the day before they are born they had no rights? Its ridiculous. And the purpose of the legislation its not just to abide by the status quo otherwise, you know, youd go back, Aboriginals wouldnt have a vote thered be a whole range of things that wouldnt have happened. The purpose of the legislation is to improve the position of what you currently have, and surely to take into account the self-evident facts. And when the argument comes forward of the extremities, people always go to the extremities to try and prove the generality, the extremities are a different issue. The generalities are the case that a person who is healthy, who just by matter of geography, is one step away from being born they must be given rights, and its not to do with religion its to do with basically an assessment of the facts.
KOCH: All right gents, thank you for that. Appreciate your time.
FITZGIBBON: But Barnaby a woman
KOCH: Sorry, were out of time.
ARMYTAGE: We have to leave it there. Thanks, Joel. Thanks, Barnaby.