Thursday, 1 December 2016
Income Tax Rates Amendment (Working Holiday Maker Reform) Bill 2016 (No. 2); In Committee
I do support this, and I thank the Greens for coming to this agreement with the government. What I am annoyed about is the horse trading that has gone with it along the way. I believe One Nation is probably the only party in this house that has not done a deal on this. We looked at it on merit and we supported it from the beginning. We did negotiate from 19 per cent down to 15 per cent, and we supported it on its merits. Now, this has been supported by the Greens, and I appreciate that it has been, because the most important people here are the farmers. It is all about the farming sector, the backpackers but also the hospitality industry, which needs to be addressed here.
I have had people ring up my party office saying, 'Thank goodness there is some common sense and that a decision has been come to after so long.' The fact is, this could have been sorted out yesterday if Senator Culleton had agreed to 15 per cent or Senator Hinch had agreed to 15 per cent or even Senator Lambie had agreed to 15 per cent. It could have been sorted out yesterday, but it was not. The fact is that this is about the farming sector, who are in dire straits. So, I am pleased about this. In this chamber policies must be dealt with on merit, not through horse trading, and that is why I do not agree with a lot of things that happen here.
We are the leaders of this nation. I am not happy with the Labor Party's stance on this, because they of all people should be supporting the farming sector, which is the backbone of this nation, the ones who are suffering because of this. I wish this decision had been come to a lot earlier than it has, but that was not the case. Anyway, once again, I will reiterate that the Greens have come to a decision and that common sense prevails in this house. I support this wholeheartedly and I am glad it has finally found closure.