Mr PASIN (Barker) (10:58): I rise in support of the motion proposed by the member for Grey. In doing so, I congratulate the member for Grey for the incredible work that he is doing to support the Arrium steelworks in Whyalla in his electorate. The workers at Whyalla could not find a better champion than the member for Grey, and I think this deal is proof positive of that. A lot of people have sought to take credit for it, but I can assure you that it was the work that the member for Grey did behind the scenes that secured this agreement from Adani and, in turn, secured a $74 million contract for the Arrium steelworks.
But not everyone is so supportive of this proposal. Not everyone is as supportive of the Adani coalmine as the member for Grey is or, indeed, as I am. The former member for Wakefield, someone who sat as Speaker of this place, gave me a little bit of advice before I came here. He said to me, ‘Whatever you do in this place, make sure that you act consistently.’ So I am going to highlight an inconsistency about this from one of those who do not sit on the government benches.
On the one hand, we have the Nick Xenophon Team and Senator Xenophon indicating to South Australians that he is pro South Australia, that he is the greatest champion the men and women working at the Whyalla steelworks have ever seen. But embedded within the Xenophon team is the member for Mayo. Recently, in response to a rather innocuous question on her Facebook page, where a constituent of hers indicated, ‘This is fantastic but what is your position on the Adani coalmine?’ the member for Mayo indicated, ‘I am not certain it is in the national interest.
We have a political party that says its heart beats in South Australia and says that it is for South Australian jobs, and their only representative in the House of Representatives says to the people of South Australia, ‘I am not certain that the Adani coalmine is in the national interest,’ effectively, what the member for Mayo is saying is she is not certain that we should be underwriting these jobs for South Australian men and women in the steelworks of Whyalla. I am very pleased that the member for Whyalla has placed herself on the speakers list, because she will be able to indicate in this place—clearly, for the people of Whyalla—whether she supports the Adani coalmine. Of course, if you do not support the Adani coalmine you do not support jobs at Whyalla.
You cannot walk both sides of this street. You either support the Adani coalmine—which, by the way, will ensure that tens of millions of Indians get access to affordable electricity and, in some cases, electricity full stop—or you do not. If you do not, you are saying to the workers at Whyalla: ‘You are a step closer to these steelworks being closed and you joining the unemployment line.’ I am very pleased the member for Mayo has this opportunity because I am confident she will come out and say, ‘I support the steelworkers at Whyalla.’ In so doing, she is indicating that she is supporting the Adani coalmine. If there is any other position put in this place, then, effectively, what the member for Mayo is saying is that she does not support those jobs.
I should indicate to her that by way of background her leader, Senator Xenophon, in the other place, is telling every journalist who will take his phone call that he was the architect of this deal. If he was the architect of this deal she must indicate that she supports the mine and that she supports the deal. Any other choice says that not only the member for Mayo does not support jobs at Whyalla but also that the Xenophon team has given up on jobs at the Whyalla steelworks. That would be a great tragedy, because the coalition is backing the Adani coalmine and jobs at Whyalla.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Rob Mitchell ): Before I call the next member to speak I would remind the member for Barker that you are supposed to be in your chair when you speak, in your own seat.