Interview with Paul Murray, Sky News Australia, Paul Murray Live

PAUL MURRAY: Barnaby Joyce, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, was in Sydney this afternoon. We had a chance to have a quick chat to him after he was in the Hunter, standing in front of giant coal trains, reminding people about just how much money they actually bring to the country.

BARNABY JOYCE: You know I get it when people say, "I don’t like a big hole in the ground". I can understand that. But I tell you what, you like the money it brings in. Each one of those trains that those protesters are stopping, about a million dollars, $100,000 in royalties. I think they’ve stopped $60 million worth of those trains so far, so that’s $6 million that could have gone to the police, that could have gone to hospitals, that could have gone to your roads and that’s at a state level. At a federal level, probably about $15 million worth of income tax to pay for your NDIS, your Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, your pensions, your social security, maybe unemployment benefits, which I bet a lot of those protesters were on, and on and on it goes. Defence. And this is people like that, and they like the standard living they got. And of course, if the money is not coming in, you can’t spend the money.

PAUL MURRAY: Now the Labor Party keeps saying that the Government should do more on its 2030 climate targets. But of course, the Labor Party has no policy for 2030. Now, how is it that they can get away with this when it’s pretty obvious what the consequences are of whatever target they’re going to come up with for 2030?

BARNABY JOYCE: And you just need to give them three options, A, B and C. A: your target is lower than ours. Right, okay, congratulations. Well, that’s surprising. B: your target is the same as ours. If it is, nothing to debate, we’re both on the same page. Or C: your target is higher than ours, which of course, means how you’re going to get there? What are you going to do? Does it involve methane? Does it involve fugitive emissions? Does it involve bovine ruminants cattle? Do we have to start looking at the number of cattle we’ve got to meet your target. Does it require a price on carbon? Are you coming at that? And if they keep on saying no, no, no, it’s none of those. Well, what is it? Where’s the magic?

PAUL MURRAY: This is it. Now people are going to say it’s a political tactic. This is a fork in the road, and that’s why it matters. By the way what about the bloke who was running the Glasgow summit? And I think we all agree, we don’t want to talk about that anytime soon. It’s all over. It’s all done. And Boris Johnson is pretending it’s the end of fossil fuels. Well, the actual fact is a little different. They are going hammer and tong in the North Sea for fossil fuels, aren’t the UK?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, this is it. This is why I get so cynical about it. They say, “Oh you were so rude to that man". I’m sure he doesn’t know me, even if I stood up in his cornflakes. They’re saying I was rude to that man because he was terribly upset, terribly upset. He was almost crying. He was almost crying, terribly upset because we didn’t ban the coal industry. However, at the same time off the northeast coast of England is the North Sea oil fields. Brent Crude is one of the determinant prices. Not only are they using it, they’re drilling more oil fields. They’re putting down more. They’re pulling up more of these evil fossil fuels. They never actually talked about closing down the North Sea, but they did want to close down the Hunter Valley and central Queensland. This is why the cynicism builds up in me. If you want to be Saint Chairman Sharma at Glasgow, well, that’s great. Lead by example, go shut down your own oil fields and see how that one goes with you. At the same time, by the way, they’re building big new nuclear power stations. If you believe that’s the way to go, you can see, first of all, hypocrisy that they keep open their own fossil fuels, one of their biggest exports, keep open their own fossil fuel exports. They don’t touch them. At the same time, they promote the construction of nuclear power plants. I suppose it’s a logical way to go, but I don’t believe the same people who are lauding Glasgow are coming out saying, "We, too, need nuclear power". No, that doesn’t happen.