Transcript - Interview on Beef TV Rockhampton

JOURNALIST: This week is all about beef, but she is the Minister for Queensland's second favourite industry, resources, Madeleine King, welcome. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Pleasure to be here, thanks Andrea. 

JOURNALIST: Also the Minister for Northern Australia. I hear you've got one big mission while you're here at Beef. You've got to go find a big new hat. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: You betcha. I'm moving into the straw-hat zone, because I think it's very hot in WA, and when I go into the Pilbara and the ‑ up to Kununurra and so forth. So I'm going to keep my felt, I really love it, but I'm going to have a look for a straw hat. 

JOURNALIST: How big are we thinking? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: I think as big as possible, like, you know, you want to protect yourself. 

JOURNALIST: Bob Katter style but straw.

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: I'm a big fan of Bob Katter, I work with him quite a lot in the Parliament, so I'm happy to model my hat choices on Bob's. 

JOURNALIST: Good on you, he'll be happy to hear that one. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Yeah, I think so, yeah. 

JOURNALIST: Now, carbon capture and storage, let's start on that one. In your view is it a critical component of emissions reduction? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: I think it is, and it's not just me that thinks it is. The International Energy Agency has said carbon capture and storage will be essential for the world to get to net zero because of the challenge ahead, like there is a lot of carbon, there is a lot of carbon intensive industries right around the world. And so that is an important technology that will be needed to be able to sequester carbon into the future. 

JOURNALIST: But it isn't shared by all of your Cabinet though, is it? 

JOURNALIST: I would think it's shared by all the Cabinet, but there are different views around the country, for sure, and I don't object to those different views, but I tend to follow the ‑ well, I absolutely follow the science, and I don't mind that advice, the International Energy Agency which points to CCS quite clearly. 

There's one facility in Western Australia, it's an offshore facility that has already sequestered 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, so that's a whole lot of emissions that is put back into our reservoir that was able to hold gas before and it's now holding a different kind of gas. 

So it will be an important tool, but the most important tool is to reduce the emissions in the first place. This is one of those means of making sure we reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so that we can cool the planet. 

JOURNALIST: If we look at Glencore, Great Artesian Basin and obviously a massive stoush at the moment going on. Where do you stand? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Well, it's not helpful for ministers in the Federal Government to interject and put personal opinions on these cases. It is before the courts. We saw there are two resources based decisions of the last government that ended up in the courts and the decisions of government were dismissed because of apprehended bias. So it's not really, it's not helpful for me to interject in that debate, and so I won't on the specifics of that. 

But I do understand people's concerns, and I understand what Glencore is trying to achieve as well.

When we have this contested land use, it really is ‑ it's a difficult thing, and it's not going to end, so the way in which you speak about things is going to be important, about how we ‑ what we have to do to reduce emissions on one hand and then the other uses of land that we absolutely need for, you know, prime agricultural land. 

So I think a sensible debate about CCS and where it is, people should be able to lodge their objections. I note the approval was from the former government. It will go through the courts, and I guess we'll, you know, we will see where it goes. 

JOURNALIST: You said it's not helpful for ministers to give their personal opinion on it. There were reports just days ago about Minister Murray Watt contacting the Environment Minister asking her to intervene on this project. Do you think that was unhelpful? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Well, you know, I'm not certain of that, and I'm sure you'll ask Murray that question later when he appears on Beef TV but, you know, as ministers we talk all the time about things just to see, you know, we ring our colleagues. I would ring Murray on a particular matter, and he'd certainly contact me on another just to see where things are at, and sometimes to ‑‑ 

JOURNALIST: So have you contacted Tanya Plibersek over this project? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: No, not at all, no, but it's ‑

JOURNALIST: Do you think it should go ahead? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: No, no, I'm not going to voice my opinion on this, my personal opinion on this 'cause as I said, ministers just, you know, speaking like that can endanger future decisions, and that's wasteful too, right, because ‑

JOURNALIST: So should Murray Watt not have contacted Tanya on this? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: No, he should contact Tanya to see where things are at, I think that's entirely reasonable. We do it all the time. 

JOURNALIST: What about an intervention? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: No, but that's contacting and finding out what's going on. Like that's not going into the public sphere and saying making a decision or pre-empting a decision and exhibiting your bias, so that's what we need to be careful of, and the courts have told us not to do it so we each try not to do it. 

Sometimes people can slip up, you know, I get that, we're all human, but by the same token, you know, we need to let the business of the courts ‑ which are fair and, you know, they hear from all sides, and that will just have to run its course. 

JOURNALIST: I want to turn to Northern Australia now. 


JOURNALIST: Will Tracey Hayes be re‑appointed as the Chair of NAIF?  

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: There's no reason not to. I get along really well with Tracey, and she's a formidable advocate for beef in Australia, and she is a great Chair of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. 

We are going through a process around appointments and re‑appointments to the Board and that's been ‑ you know, they all know that, all the members of the Board except for one are up for re‑appointment, so we'll go through that process in a sensible and timely fashion. 

JOURNALIST: Was the spray the other night a bit awkward though? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: I don't think so, I mean ‑

JOURNALIST: On the live export, yeah, for those following along. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: I was at the dinner, and I thought Tracey spoke really well, and I spoke to her after the dinner, and I think when people have a platform, especially at such an important event like beef, they should use that opportunity, and I think what she said and the manner in which Tracey said it was really respectful. This has lingered, there's no doubt, and I'm not going to go into it again 'cause it's an ongoing court case. 

JOURNALIST: Come on, Minister. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: No, no, no, you can't get me.  It is, and it's lingered through, you know, a couple of terms of the former government, and I know the Prime Minister, we want to resolve it. There will always be differences of opinion on settlement payments and that can be distressing to those that are seeking, and I absolutely understand that. 

But, and Tracey's right to raise those concerns, and if I feel a bit awkward about it, or Murray does, the Prime Minister does, well, that's okay, that's our job to listen to people, so that's what we did.  

And, you know, look, Tracey's been great, and I really enjoy working with her, and the whole Board for that matter. So, you know, she's a great leader and, you know, a great leader in the Northern Territory too, which I think is, you know, a really good thing that she's, you know, speaking her mind in a respectful fashion. 

JOURNALIST: Your gas strategy comes out this week. What can we expect? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Well, the gas strategy was announced, the development of it was announced at the last Budget, and so me and my team and the Department have been working for the past year on the strategy, and it's about how  we've done a huge analysis, we've had many consultations, lots of submissions have come in from the public from the commercial sector as well.  

It's about building the evidence base to assess where gas sits in the nation's story, in the context of wanting to reach net zero by 2050. 

So, you know, not everyone will be happy with it, but I'm, what I want the gas strategy to do is just to be a factually based assessment of where gas sits. 

JOURNALIST: WA was instrumental in delaying the overhaul of the Environmental Protection and Conservation Act. What were the key concerns exactly? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Well, I'm not sure if that's quite the case but I know it's been reported like that. 

JOURNALIST: You guys hold a bit of sway there, don't you, Minister?  

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: I don't know, well, it's a big state, like Queensland, a little bit bigger than Queensland, of course, and we're both resources States. I think the challenge of the EPBC reform is a mess, Minister Plibersek recognises that and has said as much and we all recognise that, and it's appropriate that it's done properly. 

So quite a bit of it has already been achieved with the water trigger that we introduced really quickly, or reasonably quickly in the start of our term, but it's just appropriate to split it up like this and keep the consultation going, but we are very serious about the reform of the EPBC Act. Everyone acknowledges it's not working. It's not working for the environment and it's not working for proponents, for development, and we want it to work because, and being from a resource State, you know how the frustration around some of these approvals.

Equally the mining and resources have to work with the environmental protection regime as well, and they want to, they just want to make it to be clear. 

I look forward to those reforms and I'll keep working with Tanya and others to make sure they're appropriate. 

JOURNALIST: Minister, it's time for our game. Playing for cattle stations. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Yeah, I love a cow bell, you know it. 

JOURNALIST: Now, we saw, this is the leader board, you've got well done, medium well, medium, medium rare and raw. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: It's a lot of [indistinct] there. 

JOURNALIST: David Littleproud hit the bottom, Furner is at the top, Albo, he's doing all right there as well.

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Yeah [indistinct]. 

JOURNALIST: Now you've got five pop quiz questions. The game is to see how well you can do. So let's start off. Question one, Minister: the town of Banana in North Queensland is named after a fruit or an animal?  

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: I don't even know what to say, it's a town called Banana?  

JOURNALIST: Yes, correct. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Clearly, I'm embarrassed that I don't know. I've not heard of that town, is it named after a fruit ‑

JOURNALIST: Or an animal?  

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: -- or an animal. I'm going to say animal, 'cause it ‑

JOURNALIST: Correct, Banana the bullock. Correct. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: That's the name of the cow- the bullock, sorry. Yeah, great.  

JOURNALIST: You're doing well, you're already ahead of some. Littleproud's on one, so you're doing ‑ 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Littleproud, so wait till I see him in Parliament. 

JOURNALIST: Yeah. Outside of beef what is the key ingredient in a beef Wellington?  

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: God, it's my husband's favourite dish. Is it the pastry? 

JOURNALIST: Oh, I'm meant to give you multiple choice, sorry. I'm not following along very well, sorry. Garlic, mushroom or onion. 




JOURNALIST: What is the cut of meat in an Osso Buco, and I've definitely said that wrong, haven't I? 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: It's Osso Buco. Isn't that, it's the ‑ 

JOURNALIST: Tail, shoulder, or lower leg? So a shank.

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Yeah, lower leg I would have thought. 

JOURNALIST: Correct, three. In a Disney universe Mickey Mouse has a cow friend named what, Clarabelle, Daisy or Millie? 


JOURNALIST: Clarabelle. 


JOURNALIST: And finally, true or false, cattle can walk down stairs?  

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: I've never seen that happen. There are no stairs around where the cattle are kept. I'm going to say they can't walk down stairs. 

JOURNALIST: It's actually true, they can walk down when guided but won't go alone. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: Oh that's  yeah, I did better than David, so.

JOURNALIST: But you got three points, congratulations, Minister. Thanks for coming on Beef TV. 

MINISTER MADELEINE KING: That's okay. Thanks so much, have a great beef week.