As strong as possible, as quickly as possible: Barnaby Joyce at the Rural Press Club

Mark Phelps
By Mark Phelps
Updated March 22 2022 - 2:51am, first published March 17 2022 - 10:00pm
Rural Press Club: Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says Australia has to become as strong as possible as quickly as possible.

AUSTRALIA has to become as strong as possible as quickly as possible, or in the future, possibly the imminent future, we will be taught the most brutal lesson of our time.

They were the challenging words from Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who was speaking at the Rural Press Club of Queensland.

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Mr Joyce told the crowd of more than 360 in Brisbane that championing the value of the $100 billion coal industry and the construction of new infrastructure including Urannah Dam in north Queensland and Inland Rail were essential to ensure Australia's standard of living.

His address was set again the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ongoing tension with China over Taiwan.

"Money in Australia is made from exports that then rotates throughout our economy, bringing wealth to those oblivious to its actual source," Mr Joyce said.

"The value of coal exports could easily reach $100 billion over the current financial year, yet some almost have a fear of even referring to it as if it was the evil eye."

Mr Joyce said the source of Australia's wealth was regional Australia.

"The mechanism of realising that wealth is getting our valuable commodities, like coal, gas, iron ore, beef and cotton, to a port and getting paid for it," he said.

"Resources are what makes that polymer note in your pocket have a value away from being a meaningless piece of plastic.

"Let's be honest, virtually everything beyond the food on your plate comes from overseas.

"Your standard of living is based on our terms of trade. The Nationals and Liberals are focused on keeping that strong, for the benefit of our nation."

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