House debates

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011, Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011, Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — General) Bill 2011, Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — Customs) Bill 2011, Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — Excise) Bill 2011, Petroleum Resource Rent Tax Assessment Amendment Bill 2011, Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — General) Bill 2011, Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — Customs) Bill 2011, Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — Excise) Bill 2011, Tax Laws Amendment (Stronger, Fairer, Simpler and Other Measures) Bill 2011, Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Bill 2011; Second Reading

12:03 pm

Photo of Chris HayesChris Hayes (Fowler, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Yes, give the miners a tax cut. Give it back. In doing so, the Leader of the Opposition and his party will be not only squandering the potential benefits to the Australian people of this once in a lifetime boom but also turning their backs on small businesses and destroying the hopes of 8.4 million Australians who are seeking to have better opportunities in their retirement. Once again he is happy to put politics ahead of the community, and he maintains his rhetoric that the MRRT would force the likes of BHP Billiton and Rio to close their projects in Australia, to vacate to South America or other places, despite the enormous investment programs currently underway by those very companies. Despite making all that rhetoric and playing it out in the popular media, you might recall that it was not all that long ago that a Western Australian Liberal government decided without notice to unilaterally increase the mining royalties on the iron ore industry. You would expect at least some protestation about that. There was not even a peep. There was not one line of criticism from Mr Abbott and his supporters. It was okay to raise revenues over there but not to raise revenues on the basis of doing something for the Australian people. That is a different issue.

In contrast to the Liberal Party, the Gillard government will be locking in the benefits of the mining boom for all Australians, including the less economically fortunate Australians. They will see that they have a government that is prepared to invest not only in this nation but in this nation's people. The Leader of the Opposition and those at the table have the opportunity to explain why it is that the Liberal Party is lining up with some of the richest companies in the world instead of the Australian people, who see that their resources are being dug up and shipped overseas for foreign companies' enhanced profit. This is about doing something to ensure that those excess profits are redistributed through our economy to make sure that we do address the issue of the patchwork economy.

This is not for people to come into this place and simply wax on about a two-speed patchwork economy and multispeed drivers in the economy. This is a matter of people coming in here with an ability to do something about it. This Labor government is standing up and doing something about it. I commend this legislation to the House.


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