TRANSCRIPT: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Senator Matthew Canavan and Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry at Keppel Bay Sailing Club announcement, Yeppoon, 22 April 2019


Look it’s fantastic to be at the Keppel Bay Sailing Club at Yeppoon today and with me I have the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack and Matt Canavan, the Minister for Northern Australia and Resources and today I have a very exciting announcement. After a lot of hard lobbying and work with the Deputy Prime Minister and also Senator Canavan, we are here today to announce $20 million towards the upgrades to the Keppel Bay Sailing Club.

Now this is a very exciting project. This is about making this a 1000 seat convention centre. It’s about car parking, about accommodation, about a major asset for this community. This is something that we have worked extremely hard for and the reason that we have worked so hard on this is, I think that this is an incredible asset community. This is a place that will be a destination. I can see this being somewhere like Queenstown in New Zealand where people come here for conferences. They bring their partners. There’s so much to do in this fabulous area with the islands, the caves, you know, the list goes on here. The crocodile farm. So very, very pleased we could make this a $20 million announcement today for the Keppel Bay Sailing Club.

I’d like to thank Capricorn Enterprise also, Mary Carroll and her team for the amazing job that they’ve done working with Julie and her team here at the Sailing Club. It’s certainly been a community effort to pull this together and that’s what it’s about. It’s about working with the community, about getting these projects off the ground. So this is an election commitment so it is contingent on myself being re-elected and the Coalition getting back into Government. Thank you.

Well thank you to Michelle Landry. Thank you to Matt Canavan, thank you to Julie and her team here at Keppel Bay Sailing Club. Thanks to Mary Carroll from the Capricorn Enterprise and thanks to Karryn Johnson the Commodore here at the club.

This is such an exciting day. This is an historic day. This club has been providing a community service for 62 years and today, this is going to be transformational for the foreshore redevelopment. This is going to not only upgrade but it’s going to completely re-model what we have here. We’ve got a sailing club, been here, the building been here since around the early 1970s. It’s going to absolutely transform this foreshore. It’s going to provide such a destination point, as Michelle Landry has quite correctly pointed out, for tourists. Be they, people from Australia, be they international travellers but certainly as a convention hub.

This is what’s going to transform this area. It’s going to pump at least $17 million into the economy each and every year once fully developed. It’s going to provide hundreds of jobs and that’s what Michelle Landry has been fighting for. That’s what Senator Matt Canavan always fights for. Creating jobs, creating opportunity, creating economic opportunity for Central Queensland. For regional Queensland. Queensland as a whole.

This isn’t just something for Yeppoon. This is for all of Queensland. This is going to transform this area. It’s going to make it such a destination point and I can’t elaborate on that point enough. What we’re going to have to have here is a 1000 seat convention centre. What we’re going to have here is a sporting precinct that is going to be second to none on the Central Coast. Michelle Landry has fought for this. She’s twisted my arm so much to make this possible. I know Mary Carroll has phoned me any number of times to say how valuable this is going to be for the economic output of this region so I’m delighted that Michelle Landry has made it possible, delighted to be standing alongside her today because I know how much this means to the local people. They’ve prioritised it so we’ve prioritised it.

We’ve made it an election commitment. It is a very good election commitment because it is going to create jobs in the construction phase. It’s going to create full-time, hundreds of full-time jobs going forward once it’s fully developed and on this side of the road and indeed on the other side of the road. It’s going to attract food outlets, restaurants, cafes. It’s going to attract visitors, as I say, from right throughout Australia, right throughout the world but they’re going to come here for conferences, for conventions, it’s going to transform this region.

So well done to Michelle Landry. That’s what she does. She fights hard for local outcomes. For local people. Fights hard for local jobs and that’s what this project is going to do. So, well done to the Keppel Bay Sailing Club. It’s been a fantastic organisation. This is an historic day for the club. I know that going forward, this $20 million is going to make such a world of difference for the club and for the local area.

Thanks Michael. Well, there’s not much more I can add but to thank Michelle and Mary and Julie. This was a great project. It was wasn’t hard to support because it’s fantastic for the local community and thank you Michael for coming through with this commitment for the Capricorn Coast community. It is so well needed.

What I wanted to add though today is another major story. The front page of the Courier Mail which shows that the Stop Adani Convoy has a particularly contemptable view of Queenslanders and the coal mining industry. It’s a view that needs to be rejected by all sides of politics. The Courier Mail has revealed today that participants in the Stop Adani Convoy have compared, or said that Queenslanders are ‘rednecks’ and have compared coal miners to ‘Nazis’. These views should be rejected. They’re radical, extreme views which typify this protest that’s coming up from down south to tell Queenslanders what to do.

Queenslanders don’t take kindly to being told what to do by a lot of hypocritical whingers who are happy to live with the comforts of modern society but don’t want to support the industries that provide those modern conveniences like our coal mining industry.

I also think this week, it’s very important, very important that Bill Shorten in particular, rejects these views. He is in Townsville today and Bill needs to drop the weasel words. He needs to stop saying, ‘if this, but that’ every time he mentions Adani and come out one way or another and say whether he supports the Adani Carmichael Mine and support for jobs it will produce.

We are very sceptical here in North Queensland about Mr Shorten’s views on coal mining because a year ago, last year, in March last year, Bill Shorten said emphatically that ‘I do not support Adani’. That was his direct quote a year ago. And ever since then, he’s been trying to crab walk away, as I say, saying ‘if this or but that’ every time he’s asked about it. While with four weeks to go until the election, it’s time for Bill to drop the weasel words and tell us once and for all, does he support the coal mining industry or does he support the views of Bob Brown and his fellow travellers in the Stop Adani Convoy? Because if Bill can’t be clear, if he can’t be clear on his position on coal mining, well we must only conclude that Bill Shorten won’t be in the Stop Adani Convoy physically, he’s there spiritually with them. He’s there spiritually because he represents The Labor Party which no longer supports workers, no longer supports the coal mining industry and always seems embarrassed about when they’re forced to provide a modicum of support to the jobs that we need here in Central and North Queensland.

And finally, this week will be the week where nominations close, tomorrow. Where a ballot draw occurs on Wednesday, where parties will finalise preference arrangements for the Senate next week and almost certainly, the Labor Party will once again, do a deal with The Greens, do a deal with The Greens. Well, it’s time that they end this marriage. It’s time the Labor Party ends this marriage in North and Central Queensland because if the Labor Party wants to represent jobs in Central and North Queensland, they cannot do preference deals with a party that wants to shut North and Central Queensland down. So Bill Shorten should stop the deals that he does with the radical, extreme Greens, support Queensland. Every candidate and member who runs for the Labor Party in North and Central Queensland, if they do a deal with The Greens, they are not supporting your job because if they do, if the Labor Party does a deal with The Greens, they’re selling out Central and North Queensland jobs.

Well said.
Any questions?

Is this $20 million part of the Building Better Regions?

No this $20 million is an election commitment. Michelle Landry gets returned as the Member for Capricornia, the Liberal National parties get elected as the government federally and this money is there. So $20 million election commitment. This is a commitment that is going to create jobs, this is a commitment that Michelle Landry has fought for, that Michelle Landry is going to deliver because Michelle Landry is going to be returned as the Member for Capricornia because she has done such an outstanding job and it’s not just for the Keppel Bay Sailing Club.

Look at the $176.1 million that Michelle Landry fought for and delivered, along with Ken O’Dowd, as far as the Rookwood Weir. Look at the money for the Walkerston Bypass. Look at the money, the $5 million for the flood-proofing of the airport at Rockhampton. These are the sorts of deliveries that Michelle Landry has fought for and delivered. These are the sorts of achievements that she can look back on with great pride but indeed look to the future, also with great hope and optimism because she is going to continue to deliver for the people of Capricornia.

The other side, well, they just make empty promises. They can’t deliver, they won’t deliver. Michelle Landry has always delivered and her first and foremost objective is creating local jobs and that’s what she’s behind and whether it’s miners jobs, whether it’s tourism jobs, whether it’s jobs in the food industry, hospitality sector or indeed in the sporting industry. All these jobs are going to be enhanced by this announcement that we’ve made today.

Can I ask what you make of the comparison to coal miners, you know, the reference to Nazis?

Oh look, it’s absolutely disgraceful and it just goes to show how desperate The Greens are becoming. It just goes to show that they got smashed in the Victorian State Elections. They didn’t do very well in the New South Wales State Elections recently and they’re becoming increasingly desperate saying disgraceful things. I mean, to compare anybody with Nazis. Let alone people who are working hard. Let alone people who are creating an industry providing 55,000 jobs. This is the coal mining sector. 55,000 jobs. $66 billion worth of exports. $66 billion worth of exports which quite frankly, pays for a lot of the welfare that these people are on and they are on welfare because otherwise how would they have had time to get in a convoy with Bob Brown and come up here?

They should be working, they should be actually enjoying the benefits that coal miners provide. Instead they’re going and demonising these people who are working hard. Working hard to create a better Australia. Working hard to create a better future. That’s what the mining sector does here in Queensland. It also underpins 66 or thereabouts, per cent of our energy needs so, you know, these people should think long and hard about what they say because words hurt and these sorts of words, well, they’re outright rejected by The National Party. Outright rejected by the LNP and they should be out-rightly rejected by Bill Shorten and Labor but they won’t. They won’t because they’ll be continuing to appease the Green votes in inner-city Melbourne and elsewhere. Bill Shorten says one thing when he’s campaigning up here in North and Central Queensland but he says something completely different to the barristers of Batman.

That’s the Bill Shorten way. He wants to get into bed with these Greens. He wants to get their preferences. I say to Bill, he needs to think long and hard about what he says and who he preferences.

Mr McCormack, do you think publicans are within their rights to refuse people because of [inaudible]?

Well that’s a matter for them and quite frankly, these people are worried about their jobs. They’re worried about their future. And you know, when Bob Brown and his convoy are coming up here seeking a bit of relevance, seeking to demonise the jobs of coal miners, seeking to downplay the role that these resource people play in the Australian economy and Australia’s future, well, they’ve got every right to probably say, well you know what, you can go and shop elsewhere. You can go and give your customers elsewhere because I don’t want your dollars.

I understand how angry these people are. I mean, when you get compared to Goebbels and Hitler and other people, you know, it’s just disgraceful. It’s quite frankly, it’s un-Australian and Bob Brown and his convoy, should think long and hard about what they say and who they say it to.

Can I make a comment about that too please?

So I was out at Clermont a couple of weeks ago and visited the publicans out there and they told me that they’re putting up the support Adani signs, they’re banning The Greens from their pubs basically and the reason they’re doing this, is these little townships have been through hell and back over the last couple of years. You know, a lot of businesses have closed, a lot of people have left town and things are actually starting to pick up. You see people walking around the streets, you see people in the pubs, people in the accommodation and how dare Bob Brown and these Greens, come to this area and try to tell us in Central Queensland, that we can’t support the mining sector.

And this is not just about the Adani Coal Mine. This is about coal mining in Central Queensland and you know, I think that these Greens are very hypocritical. They’re all coming here with cars that use petrol and diesel and all the rest of it. They all have mobile phones. They’re all using their air-conditioning. Well what a mob of hypocrites. This is made from coal and they’re coming up here telling us that we can’t have coal. I am so angry about this as well as the rest of the locals in my electorate out in Western Queensland. They are disgraced. We don’t want them up here. Go back to Tasmania.

Hear, hear. Well said.

Is it a concern that they are planning, you know, over the next 18 days, planning more strike action in the region?

Well, of course it’s a concern. It’s concern that quite frankly, they’re bringing their convoy of despair and demonising hard-working people. Hard-working family people. Hard-working people who are providing the energy needs, the exports that Australia wants, needs, deserves and expects. A lot of the export money that the resources sector provides, is going to public schools, public hospitals. It’s going to every state in Australia and they should think long and hard about that before they come out with these hurtful, insightful words. Words of anger. Words of hate. This should not be The Greens way. It’s un-Australian and they should cease it.


We’ve got a policy which provides for record funding for State schools, record funding for State hospitals, we’ve brought the surplus back into…brought the budget back into surplus. We’ve got an economic narrative that quite frankly, leaves anything else for dead.

We are working towards paying back Labor’s debt. We’re working towards paying back that debt, that billions and billions of dollars of, hundreds of billions of dollars of debt that we inherited. We’re bringing it back to surplus. We’ve already done that but we want to continue to provide surplus upon surplus upon surplus because when you look at governments throughout Australia. Tasmania, New South Wales, Liberal National Governments. Where they’ve succeeded is the fact that they’ve been able to bring the debt and deficit that they inherited as well from Labor Governments. They’ve been able to bring it back into control and when you can do that, then you supply and support infrastructure needs. Now we’re already investing $100 billion, a record amount of money into infrastructure. Now those sorts of requirements are helping Roads of Strategic Importance, Beef Roads, Northern Australian roads, roads such as the Outback Way, Roads such as the Bruce Highway.

We’re making sure that we get on board with doing that. The fact is, the alternative is bleak. The fact is, there’s a real and stark contrast between what Labor offers, what the Labor candidate here offers and what the Morrison Government and Michelle Landry are offering. The fact is, The Nationals in Government, supported by the Liberals, have been able to look after the regions both in infrastructure, in jobs, in investment, in security, in water storage benefits and we will continue to do that.

The Labor way, well that’s going to destroy the regions. That’s going to nationalise the tree clearing laws that Queensland Labor have put into place. That’s going to make sure that under a future Labor Government, Australia won’t be able to support the economic downturn that, that will bring. So we’re all for infrastructure, we’re all for jobs. We’ve seen today with this announcement, how much this is going to bring the regional economy of Yeppoon. The regional economy of Central Queensland. They’re the sorts of investments that we’re going to continue to make and that’s the sort of future that we want Queenslanders to have.

So just back, focusing on penalty rates, the local workers that are here that are affected … [inaudible]

Sorry Bree, but it’s a little bit hard to hear I think Bree, but on penalty rates, what has happened under this Government is we have respected the Fair Work Commission’s rulings which Bill Shorten established an enquiry for the Fair Work Commission to do. There’s been no decision by the Government or the Parliament on penalty rates. It’s simply operating under the system that Labor established in the Fair Work Act.

The question has to go back to Russell Robertson today, about why the Labor Party are not supporting the Government’s legislation to encourage or to allow coal miners to convert to permanent work.

Michelle Landry fought very long and hard for this legislation to provide coal miners the right to convert to permanent work if they are a regular casual employee. That legislation was put up in the Parliament back in March. The Labor Party took a couple of months to come back to us, eventually said they won’t support it. And the question still is out there, why won’t they support it?

Brendan O’Connor, the responsible Minister now is refusing to answer questions from Christine McKee about exactly what parts of the legislation they opposed because this legislation just enshrines the same right that exists in other industries.

The other question that has to go to Russell Robertson is, if he cares about casualisation, which the Labor Party have been talking about for the last few years, why hasn’t the Labor Party proposed their own legislation in the last few years? Why hasn’t Labor put their own bill up to say what they would do in Government?

The only party with a plan to end casualisation in the coal mining industry is the Liberal National Party but we have not been able to pass it because of the failure of the Labor Party to support us. One can only conclude that Labor did not want to support the Government in the last few months because it did not want to let this Government, the Liberal National Government, actually do something for workers’ rights. And once again Labor is putting the politics of workers, the politics of jobs above the results for workers and the results for coal mining jobs.

The other thing I would say is if you support higher wages in this region, you have to support the mining industry. The mining industry pays 40% higher on average than the next highest paying industry. It is the only way we can, in this region, guarantee high wages for hard-working families in Central Queensland and while ever Russell Robertson is doing a deal with the coal-killing Greens, he cannot support higher wages in Central Queensland.

Zac Beers’ office has [inaudible] that legislation as pretty meaningless saying it’s not forcing bosses to actually [inaudible] is that true?

Well the fact is too, I’m sorry, I didn’t hear your penalty rates bit of your last question but fact is, the Fair Work Commission was established by Labor. They put in place a process by which, of course, wages and penalty rates are reviewed. That was done under Labor. Commissioners, mostly appointed by Labor. So then, when they brought down a decision which affected rates of pay for about five out of about 120 various sectors of what the Fair Work Commission oversees, the fact is, Labor didn’t like it. Well, it’s like saying to the independent umpire that you put in place, I don’t like your decision. Bill Shorten, Russell Robertson and all the rest are just playing games, political games with people. They say one thing … They put in place one thing and then when they don’t like the decision, they then say well, we’re going to overturn it.  

Well the fact is Bill Shorten needs to remember that under our policies, under our economic narrative, 1.25 million jobs were created, were created by small, medium and large businesses too. You didn’t get that under Labor. The fact is, we’ve got record numbers of people in employment. 12 million people. We’ve got record low jobless figures for the last 12 years. That doesn’t happen by coincidence. It doesn’t happen by chance. And the best outcome for people who want higher wages is to actually have a job in the first place.

Under Labor, those jobs will disappear. Under Labor people won’t have to worry about penalty rates because a lot of people won’t have jobs. He wants to deindustrialise Australia with his policies. He certainly wants to deindustrialise Central and North Queensland and certainly the mining sectors. So those people, as Matthew Canavan has just enunciated, if they want a job, if they want a high paying job, well the only option is to vote for Michelle Landry, Ken O’Dowd, George Christensen and other LNP members to ensure that they’re jobs are preserved and protected. That’s the LNP way, making sure that we have jobs, making sure that the resources sector is strong and under Matthew Canavan’s stewardship, the recourses sector is very, very strong.

We want to continue and grow our exports. We want to continue and grow our domestic mining to ensure that we have the energy requirements that Australia needs. That’s our policies, that’s the LNP way and we will continue to do that.

Ms Landry, can I just ask, the tourism numbers came out, considering we’re in Yeppoon, what’s your comment to that? Do you think this is the start of the place to come for tourists?

Oh look, the beautiful Capricorn Coast is certainly number one up there on the tourism map as far as I’m concerned, and projects like this today at the Keppel Bay Sailing Club, are just going to encourage that. You know, I’ve lived in this area all my life and it is amazing and I think it’s that, really a bit of a hidden gem that’s just starting to really sparkle and come out and organisations like Cap Enterprise really get out there and you know, market this right across the world really so yeah, I think that we’re going from strength to strength. We get this project up and going, it’s going to be fantastic for the whole of the region.

Now did you want someone from the Sailing Club? Or Mary?
[Inaudible chatter]

We’d like to sincerely thank our Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry and of course the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Senator Matt Canavan for their amazing announcement today for $20 million to support the Keppel Bay Convention Centre and Sporting Hub which has been a regional priority project for the last eight years. It’s also been recognised as a regional priority project in our Capricorn Destination Tourism Plan 2014-2020. It’s been acknowledged as a regional priority project because not just the Capricorn Coast but the entire Central Queensland has been without a convention centre of considerable size – a thousand seat, forever. Even when we had Capricorn Resort, the capacity there was about 340 people. Of course Kortes Resort in Rockhampton has got a 300 capacity conference centre but this is a convention centre which is quite different to a conference centre.

This will allow a thousand seat convention centre and then breakout rooms as well as a sporting hub of excellence. This particular club has had to turn down the opportunity to host national sporting events because we simply did not have the capacity. This mining resources sector was mentioned before, we have a very diverse and strong economy here. Education, health, the mining resources sector, retail, accommodation etc.

The visitor economy here, we receive about 1.1 million visitors each year to the Capricorn region which stretches from the Keppel Islands from the Central Highlands. Of those visitors, about 90% are domestic and 10% international. This type of development here which will create up to 300 jobs during construction and up to 300 jobs long-term permanent, will enhance our ability to attract markets that we’re not currently receiving so whilst our visitation is roughly a third, a third, a third between leisure visitors, VFR or Visiting Friends and Relatives and business visitors, we have seen an incredible surge in particularly the business and leisure visitors in these last statistics that came out to December 2018. We keep growing our visitor numbers year on year but this facility will allow us to attract major conventions both within the state, nationally and internationally potentially, not just in the sporting arena but also conventions right across sectors like mining resources, education, health, local government as well as concerts. There is no facility in Central Queensland currently that can produce the sort of calibre that this facility will offer.

And one thing I just wanted to say as well while we’re all here. To support the comments previously made about the importance of the mining resources sector to Central Queensland. 3,200 full-time permanent jobs, currently on the Capricorn Coast and Rockhampton region are thanks to the mining sector. They’re direct jobs. They’re not the indirect jobs. 3,200 people in the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast region are employed in the mining sector. 8,600-odd jobs directly employ people in Central Queensland in the mining sector. This Wednesday, Capricorn Enterprise has put a full page ad in the Morning Bulletin to coincide with the visitors that we will be seeing coming to our region to support the mining resources sector. It is a critical industry for this region. It is a critical industry not just for jobs for Central Queensland but also for facilities like this.

Currently, miners and their families live and work on the Capricorn Coast from the Rockhampton region and the greater Central Queensland region and their disposable income comes to places like the Keppel Bay Sailing Club. Their disposable income comes to our accommodation centre. Their disposable income comes to our cafes and restaurants. Their children go to school in our schools. They rely on … their wives rely on jobs in sectors like health and education. So the diversity of our very strong economy here in Central Queensland, is the very reason that this region is growing.

If we see anything that effects that growth in jobs then we will also see an indirect effect on not just facilities like this but our entire economy. So Capricorn Enterprise as the peak regional tourism and economic development organisation for the greater part of Central Queensland, thanks sincerely the Deputy Prime Minister, Michelle Landry, Matt Canavan for this amazing announcement today because this $20 million of taxpayers money will actually assist in creating more jobs on the Capricorn Coast and indeed Rockhampton region and the greater Central Queensland area but we do need the continued support of all of those sectors, including mining resources so that this region can continue to grow, continue to employ our young people and continue to attract visitors from all over the country and indeed internationally so thank you for this announcement today. It means that the Keppel Bay Sailing Club and their wonderful team can get on with this project. They can get on with the first stage of this project in the coming months so thank you very much.

The Keppel Bay Sailing Club is very excited today and are thankful for Michelle and Michael and Matt for the announcement. Also very grateful to the support that we’ve received from Mary Carroll and her team at Capricorn Enterprise. The Keppel Bay Sailing Club is built on the foundations of community and the sport of sailing. It’s something that we’re very passionate about. Supporting the local community, this development will not only bring opportunities to provide more regattas here in the local region for sailing, develop our sailing programs but it will also bring about numerous jobs in the community, not only in the development itself, but the flow on effects that come from such a development in a small community. The jobs will be incredible and I’ve lost my words (laughs). Um…

You’re excited.

Yeah it’s great! It’s been something that the board’s been working on quite earnestly for a few years now and it’s a very tight-knit board. We all share a very close vision for the club and Julie Strudwick and her team at the club have put in numerous, numerous hours to get this up and running so we’re really looking forward to … we’re grateful for the funding commitment and looking forward being able to get this project up off the ground.

Shane Manning