Tuesday, 22 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
I too rise tonight to speak on the minerals resource rent tax bills. If I might start with an observation, tonight we are not hearing from members of the government.
Mr Ripoll interjecting—
This is my 10c worth. Are they not sufficiently encouraged by the merit of this tax to be in here tonight? I understand, as we speak, the Prime Minister is in strong negotiations with the Greens because the deal has not been done. Is this country being run by deals done on the side, by people that sit behind me? Are the people over there that impotent that they sit there, let deals be done by minority groups and then sit on their hands and not contribute to the debate? I find it strange that the members of the government do not have enough conviction to stand up and support something that is of such importance to the future of this country.
This is an ill-conceived and poorly constituted tax. This is a tax that has been put together in conjunction with the three large mining companies with very little consultation behind closed doors. It is divisive, complex, unfair, fiscally irresponsible, distorting and a lost opportunity. This tax is once again another grab of the resources from regional Australia to be taken and placed elsewhere. I believe that mining companies should contribute more, but I believe they should contribute more to the communities where the mining takes place. We have got the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government in the chamber tonight and he has stated that future payments under the RDA are dependent on the passing of this tax.