Statements by Senators – Energy, Monday December 4th, 2023

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (13:48): I’m sure that some of you in this place think there’s no way that you could ever be on Santa’s naughty list. But Santa sees through your pompous, self-righteous hypocrisy, especially when it comes to energy policy. Your integrity is about as authentic as Santa himself. Many of you spend your time demonising coal, but we wouldn’t have a Christmas if it weren’t for coal. Indeed, we wouldn’t have anything were it not for coal. If we were to stop using coal, as many in this place insist we must, our country would grind to a halt.

Coal powers our country. Everything from our lights to our budget surplus is thanks to the miracle of cheap and abundant coal. Many of you would seek to rob our nation of our strategic advantage that is buried just under the surface of this great land by the providence of God himself.

You may not deserve anything for Christmas, but I’m no Christmas Grinch—no, I’m not. Even the naughtiest of God’s children deserve something for Christmas. I have gone ahead and arranged for Minister Bowen to receive a special gift delivered to his office later today, a neatly wrapped, just for him, beautifully crafted by the hand of God himself piece of coal. That’s what he’s getting: a piece of coal. I encourage the minister to put this in pride of place on his shelf to remind him, along with everyone else in his office, that, if it weren’t for coal, there would be no Christmas—no Christmas at all. From my office to your office, Minister Bowen: Merry Christmas and a happy coal-powered new year.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Hughes ): Thank you, Senator Babet. I remind you that we may have children listening, so perhaps not to blow their expectations out of the water.