Article – ‘We will have to take these people on’ – Joyce on environmental groups with tax-deductible gift recipient status

by 27 September 2017

6 September 2017 The Guardian 

I also need to track back to a speech the deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce made early this morning at the Minerals Council of Australia knees-up.

Barnaby Joyce at the Minerals Council of Australia’s minerals week seminar in the theatre of Parliament House on Wednesday morning. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian

The speech is a typical Joyce outing – it winds and twists and digresses – but there are some interesting chunks.

There were fighting words against environmental groups with tax-deductibility status campaigning against projects like Adani. As you read on it’s good to bear in mind the mining industry also wants to curb their behaviour.

Barnaby Joyce:

We will just have to take people head on. Those people collecting the tax deductibility to fight us, take them head on, and start selling back to the Australian people the economic message “this is how you are actually going to survive, this is how you are going to win as a nation”.

If you like hospitals that are payed for out of the public purse, if you like schools that are paid for out of the public purse, if you like to be defended as a nation paid for out of the public purse, if you like the roads and the freeways and the tunnels paid for out of the public purse, if you like to go to the Opera House and see all of the cultural events, a lot of them subsidised by the public purse then you’ve got to have an economy that creates a public purse.

You’ve got to have somebody somewhere making a buck. Simple as that.

Now speaking of people who make a buck …

Barnaby Joyce:

Who is our biggest individual taxpayer in Australia? Gina Rinehart. Oh that ‘terrible, terrible’ woman, Gina Rinehart, oh shocking. All that tax she’s paying, someone should stop her.

They could, all she has to do is move to Singapore, and it stops then. And then Singapore gets the money. And what about the tax that BHP, that Rio’s paid? These ‘terrible’ people paying all this tax, supporting all the infrastructure in our nation.

Sometimes they try and inspire a guilt complex for something but overwhelmingly the sustenance of our nation is determined by our primary exports, by our mineral exports. We’ve got to push back, we’ve got to sell that message.

Now speaking of pushing back, the Adani project … and the mining industry versus environmentalists, who I think become crocodiles by the end.

Barnaby Joyce:

Galilee Basin, we’re in the fight of our lives trying to open up a mechanism to provide wealth for this nation, this is total insanity. What is the next precinct? And when you say to these people, ‘OK if you don’t want that wealth what is your alternative?

‘What do you wish to put on the table? Where does this fantasia come from? Where is the wealth? If you don’t like coal, you don’t like iron ore or you don’t like the live cattle trade or you think that the sheep industry is “evil”.’ And I’ve seen this before because at the start we were involved with it a little bit with the timber industry.

I watched them close it down, I watched them close it down. So don’t think they can’t, they can. And they’ll pick you off one by one. The biggest mistake you make is you think you’re the fastest runner in the crocodile pen, you’re not, the crocodile will get you, and it’s just which one?

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