This is the maiden speech by Senator Malcolm Roberts, one of two Queensland One Nation representatives.
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Hansard transcript of maiden speech by One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts.
I present to you, the people of Australia, my First Speech.
Senator ROBERTS (Queensland) (17:01): As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I am here to discuss with the chamber and the Australian people how we will rebuild our great nation. To the 600,000 people who voted for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation I owe a particular debt of gratitude for the privilege of serving our state and country. I will honour all Australians by restoring our Constitution, restoring our national sovereignty and restoring freedom via this chamber and in my everyday life. All of us One Nation senators are going to say the things that need to be said and do the things that need to be done. We are not worried what the establishment says about us. We are not here for the establishment. We are here for everyday people and our nation.
My passion for politics and policy was unleashed during the grassroots uprising of the Australian people against the reviled and dishonest carbon tax—a new tax on carbon dioxide—based on a lie and founded on a dishonest agenda. I became a volunteer spokesman for the Galileo Movement, working with great Australians such as Jacques Laxale, Paul Evans, John Smeed, Case Smit, Viv Forbes, Judy Ryan, Anne Easby, Jennifer Marohasy, Ian Plimer, Leon Ashby, Joanne Nova, Jim Simpson, Mike Elliott, Michael Darby, Alan Jones, Grant Goldman, the late Professor Bob Carter, and many other scientists and grassroots activists, against the carbon dioxide tax and for restoring our nation’s sovereignty.
As a result of climate policies, Queenslanders, everyday Australians, have lost jobs, paid higher taxes, wasted opportunities, lost businesses and frittered away scarce resources. Nowhere is this issue more important than in our resource-rich state of Queensland, which stands to lose the most out of all our states.
Does it not concern senators that the hyperbolic predictions from the hysterical likes of Tim Flannery, David Karoly and Ross Garnaut have not come to pass? Again and again and again, for nearly 30 years, climate activists have been warning us that we have just five years to act. Every time, nature has proven them wrong. Flannery beclowned himself by saying at the start of this century, ‘Brisbane’s dams will never be full again.’ Aren’t we all sick of it? Because the Australian public certainly is. John Cleese said recently:
I would like 2016 to be the year when people remembered that science is a method of investigation, and not a belief system.
But for too long blind faith, contrary to reality, has ruled.
My qualifications include an honours engineering degree covering atmospheric gases, including carbon dioxide, from the University of Queensland, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, famous for rigorous statistical analysis. In the real world, I obtained statutory qualifications covering atmospheric gases, with rigorous responsibilities for hundreds of people’s lives. My studies reinforced the importance of on empirical facts—hard data and physical observations—that are essential and needed to prove cause and effect. My area of studies focused on earth sciences and geology.
Australians should be able to rely on the information from Australian government bodies and institutions, but we cannot. I have used freedom of information requests, correspondence and reports from the heads of the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, the UN and universities to show there is no data proving that human use of hydrocarbon fuels affects climate—none.
We use Australia’s resources—that is, gas, coal and oil—to produce energy. These resources contain hydrogen and carbon, which produce water and carbon dioxide. Both gases are essential for life on earth, and both are not pollutants. Yet the core climate claim is that carbon dioxide from our human activity will one day, some day, catastrophically warm our planet.
Like Socrates, I love asking questions to get to the truth. So I ask the question: over the last 130 years, what was the longest single temperature trend? Is not the inconvenient truth this—that from the 1930s to the 1970s, during the period of the greatest industrialisation in human history, when our carbon dioxide output increased dramatically, atmospheric temperatures cooledfor 40 years straight? Another inconvenient fact is that temperatures, statistically, have not been warming since 1995—21 years. Records show there have been warmer periods in Australia’s history than the current decade. Temperatures are now cooler than 130 years ago. This is the reverse of what we are blatantly told by the Bureau of Meteorology, which has manipulated cooling trends into false warming trends.
Here are more undeniable facts proven by data: firstly, changes in the carbon dioxide level are a result of changes in temperature, not a cause. That is the reverse of what we have been told. Secondly, we do not and cannot affect the level of carbon dioxide in air. That too is the reverse of what we have been told. That means we cannot and do not affect global climate. Thirdly, warming is beneficial—after all, science classifies far warmer past periods as climate optimums. Again, that is the reverse of what we are told.
It is basic. The sun warms the earth’s surface. The surface, by contact, warms the moving, circulating atmosphere. That means the atmosphere cools the surface. How then can the atmosphere warm it? It cannot. That is why their computer models are wrong. The UN’s claim is absurd. Instead of science, activists invoke morality, imply natural weather events are unusual, appeal to authority and use name-calling, ridicule and emotion. They avoid discussing facts and rely on pictures of cute smiling dolphins. These are not evidence of human effect on climate.
If it is clear that climate change is a scam, and also our prosperity relies on the human endeavours of industry and production, then why is it that, in this great parliament, there are extremist advocates of an agenda to de-industrialise our nation? Let me make it clear: I will stand firm against any political organisation whose primary aim is to destroy our prosperity and sovereignty. Instead of no nation, we need one nation. How are we going to rebuild Australia and hold back any push to de-industrialise our nation? In touring Queensland and Australia with Senator Hanson, I saw firsthand the damage that fraudulent climate change science and policy is doing to communities and families. De-industrialisation is costing jobs, destroying families, bankrupting businesses and making our nation less competitive against other nations.
Queensland’s most important industry is mining. I have run mines around the world. Mining is also vital to Australia. Coal has lifted the whole of humanity out of grinding poverty and propelled us to achievements never thought possible. The wealth created for every Australian has been considerable. While it may be easy to find some rock, or a dollar, to then turn that dollar into two dollars is a very intensive and challenging endeavour. Government policy has not always helped this process.
In all these matters I trust the human mind and heart to make intelligent conclusions. I have faith in people and in our ingenuity. We must encourage honest debate and restore free speech on these issues, because that respects and promotes human spirit. Humans care. Our future civilisation depends on protecting the natural environment, and the future of our natural environment depends on protecting civilisation.
Allow me to say unequivocally: we are taxed enough already. As my dear friend John MacRae publicly says, Australians pay more tax every year than could have ever been imagined by our forefathers crafting our Constitution. Consider this, honourable colleagues, from a chartered accountant who worked on the GST implementation for our Queensland state government: 50 per cent of the cost of a loaf of bread is made up of tax. That is effectively a tax rate of 100 per cent. Young Australians would be most alarmed to learn that almost 50 per cent of the price of a house is made up of various taxes and impositions. That doubles the price of a typical home loan.
Fuel is taxed at the astonishing rate of 230 per cent. We are a decentralised nation, and high energy bills compound the cost of everything. When we reduce the cost of energy, though, we increase productivity, which increases our prosperity. High energy costs really hurt the most vulnerable in our society, the lowest income earners. The renewable energy target and climate policies are highly regressive on the poor, and we will work hard to end such policies. After all, who would have ever thought that governments would create a tax on the very air we breathe, the carbon dioxide tax?
And who pays taxes? The former Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Taxation Office Jim Killaly said that 90 per cent of Australia’s large companies are foreign owned and, since 1953, have paid little or no company tax. Former Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said that Australians pay 50 per cent of our income in taxes. The Australian Bureau of Statistics previously stated that Australians on an average income pay 68 per cent of their earnings to government, as taxes, rates, levies, charges, fees, special charges and other burdens. We work Monday to mid-morning Thursday for the government. The biggest purchase of our life is not our house; it is government.
For too long in Australia we have been strangling the goose that laid the golden egg. It must stop. Economics is about people. Australian economist, lawyer, writer and bush poet Banjo Paterson said in 1889:
It must always be remembered that we are dealing here with the simple question whether we can, by any means, be enabled to make a better living.
Australia’s tax system quashes Banjo’s vision. Instead of no nation, we must have one nation. When our Constitution devolves many powers and responsibilities to our states, why would a central government crave collecting so much tax? It is for nothing more than stealing control over our states and, in doing so, it creates a mammoth bureaucracy that duplicates responsibilities and doubles costs for taxpayers. The challenges of tax and productivity are important to Queenslanders, and I will seek to work in collaboration with the entire parliamentary community in pursuing comprehensive tax reform.
In my view the purpose of great institutions such as this parliament, and broadly politics, is to protect life, protect property and protect freedom. Government has, sadly, transitioned, though, into a beast that only wishes to control people’s lives. And it has very curious bedfellows. As my good colleague Senator Rod Culleton has so ably shown, big government in partnership with big banks is a disaster for ordinary Australians. One of the greatest threats to our liberty and life as we know it is the international banking sector. As American President Andrew Jackson once said:
It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes.
Worldwide, privately owned central banks have greed as their creed and cannot be trusted to work in a country’s best interests. A royal commission into the banking sector and currency is just one tool needed to expose what the big international banks are doing to trash our country. In 1889, Banjo Paterson identified the core problem very simply when he referred to international banking as: ‘The trusts and monopolies whereby labourers are robbed.’ Australia, again, needs a people’s bank, like the Labor Prime Minister Andrew Fisher’s Commonwealth Bank, started in 1912. A people’s bank is an established policy of our party—a people’s bank that focuses on building infrastructure and securing capital for Australia’s needs. This people’s bank will boost productivity and shield the country from the manipulation of our economy so often exerted by the tight-knit international banking sector.
Unlocking the potential of northern Australia and regional Queensland is a most pressing issue facing our state and the broader Australian community. A people’s bank would open new opportunities to make these areas the driver of our economy, with better infrastructure bringing investment and capital to the regions. We need to encourage business to move their operations north and focus on our huge potential. Instead of no nation, we must have one nation.
We recently received an excellent presentation from the immigration minister Peter Dutton’s team. Their core policies are protecting our borders, saving thousands of boat people’s lives and enabling thousands of genuine humanitarian refugees, thanks to Senator Hanson’s courageous policies 20 years ago. Australians everywhere have told me and my colleagues, including Senator Burston, how important it is that our nation’s values and culture are protected. People allowed into our country, Australia, must live by our laws.
Growing up, my parents taught me to respect all cultures and religions. I lived with people of all faiths—Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians. Australia has developed a society where people of all faiths are free to get along. In particular, we must maintain our well-developed standards on the treatment of women and girls, and children in general, and the equal advancement of people from all ancestries and all colours of skin. We should welcome anyone of any background who wants to live in peace. But for those who do not plan to integrate into our culture and laws, we need to protect our borders and keep them out. My hope is that we will have a fairer immigration system—a system that stringently tests individuals in their commitment to Australian values. At the moment, we test people wishing to take citizenship on Don Bradman’s batting average. So, I ask the question: why don’t we test people more properly before they come to Australia on upholding our great nation and our laws?
Australia’s values and way of life are also at risk from insidious institutions such as the unelected swill that is the United Nations. The people of the United Kingdom recently spoke, and I have great admiration for the way they broke free of that socialist, monolithic monster, the European Union. The EU is a template for total socialist domination of Europe through unelected bodies, such as the IMF, forcing their frightening agenda on the people. It is also the UN’s template, and Australia must leave the UN. We need an Aus-exit.
Thanks to many researchers, like my colleague Graham Williamson and Graham Strachan, people are waking to the UN destroying our national sovereignty through implementation of the UN’s 1975 Lima declaration and 1992 Rio declaration for 21st century global governance, often known as Agenda 21—more recently as Agenda 2030. It was signed quietly by the then government and sneakily implemented by ministers of every government since under the guise of biodiversity to steal property rights, sustainability to pass regulations controlling people and climate change to push foreign control using unlawful agreements like the Paris sham.
Let me say: the people of Australia are desperate to regain our sovereignty. We need to rebuild our nation. Australians have had enough of foreign control, enough of tax and enough theft of our prosperity and future. Australia is on a precipice. We can fall off the edge if we continue to become an unproductive nation which hinders enterprise through high taxes and allows gross abuses of power, such as taxing the air we breathe. We once thought we were a poor nation when we were actually rich. Sadly, we now think we are a rich nation, yet we are becoming poor. Instead of no nation, we must have one nation.
People can be confident that I will advocate for them authentically from my heart, always in the national interest. I will show the highest ethical standards in my advocacy. My greatest passion is freeing people to reach their potential through strong leadership to be individuals able to pursue dreams and aspirations as citizens of the greatest nation on earth—the greatest nation on our precious, beautiful little planet. Together, we have a lot of work to do, Australia. I am humbled to be entrusted in doing this amazing work with the Australian people.
Finally, no one can show testimony to my belief in the enduring power of human nature more than the great Pauline Hanson. With the indulgence of this chamber and with the Senator’s permission, I will refer to her as everyone knows—Pauline. Our Pauline, the people’s politician—she is one of us, and we are just like her. She is a woman of great courage to whom I owe being able to stand here today. Pauline listens to understand and is honest, courageous and persistent. Twenty years ago, Pauline, the Establishment ridiculed you. At the same time they quietly started implementing some of your policies. Thank you for saying what you have said and for giving a voice to the forgotten people, and for showing that we really do matter. Thank you, Pauline.
I must thank the amazing James Ashby. As with Pauline, they threw everything at you, mate, and you stayed strong, true to our cause and kept your integrity. You are one of the most capable people I have ever met anywhere. Thank you, mate. You have a great team at One Nation behind you, Pauline, and I thank all of our campaign team and in particular Saraya Beric for your brave and loyal spirit. Thank you, Saraya.
I have been working voluntarily on these causes close to my heart for eight years to shed light on so many injustices. I could not have done this without the strength, the courage, the honesty, the tolerance, the sometimes overwhelming patience and certainly the care of the person I love most, my gorgeous wife, Christine. Together we are blessed with the love of our children, Shane and Kelsey, who have the strength to challenge and who are always close to my heart. I love you both. My parents, who have passed on, instilled in me honesty and strength of character, and I honour them today.
Our nation, Australia, is at its very best when it is united—united as one nation. In the past, our nation faced and overcame great challenges. Now we face enormous challenges. So today I have shown those things important to me, to our great party—Pauline Hanson’s One Nation—and to our magnificent state of Queensland. My role in this chamber will be to ask the questions that need to be asked and to do what needs to be done in finding solutions for all of us.
Mr President and senators, thank you.