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 accept that, and I will come back to the bill, but I just wanted to demonstrate in that example that when it comes to managing economies we know we cannot trust Labor. Why would we trust them to go in and tax the mining sector, still manage the economy and deliver infrastructure for regional and rural Australia?
I notice that the Attorney-General of Queensland, the Hon. Paul Lucas, has put out a press release relating to the Queensland government wanting to get their fingers into some of this infrastructure money from Infrastructure Australia. They have listed some nationally significant, high-priority road projects. The Bruce Highway upgrade is in the early stages of development. The Cooroy to Curra section A is apparently ready to proceed and is 'nationally significant'. The Mackay ring-road is 'nationally significant'. That is the category they put them under. They have also listed the second range crossing at Toowoomba. It is a nationally significant crossing which I absolutely support. But, when it comes to a proposed pipeline and when it might be ready, it just says that the second range crossing has 'real potential'. It does not say it is ready to proceed. It just says it has got 'real potential'. We know it has got real potential, but we need more than that.
Then I go down the list and I think, 'The Warrego Highway will surely be listed by the Attorney-General in Queensland.' It should be on a nationally significant priority list, given the mining boom adjacent to and along the corridor of the Warrego Highway. But it comes under a second category. I am very happy that it is listed, but it is a new submission and it is 'ready to proceed'. I am certainly going to have my eyes open and I will be looking to see just how ready the ministers and the main roads department are—and they are already getting in Queensland $3 billion in royalties from the mining sector—to see some of that money rolled out into the Warrego Highway. Under the AusLink program, when we were in government, 20 per cent of the money for the national highways would come from state governments. It was not all going to come from the federal government. All I saw in this submission was that the Queensland minister said that the national highways are a federal responsibility and they are asking the Commonwealth to help fund these roads which are clearly a federal responsibility. I understood that it was also a part state responsibility, to the tune of 20 per cent.
I say to the House this evening: we just cannot trust this government with money. They now want to tax the resource sector, which is responsible for delivering enormous growth in my electorate, which is creating many more jobs. We want to be alert to the fact that this money can shift overnight to projects offshore where governments do not impose such punitive taxes on their profits and their development. That is a real concern to us and that is why we will be opposing this tax and this legislation.