House debates

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


Turnbull Government

3:01 pm

Photo of Malcolm TurnbullMalcolm Turnbull (Wentworth, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | Hansard source

will be able to do so, by providing real tax incentives—and there is a very marked contrast to the approach of the Labor Party, which is of course increasing capital gains tax by 50 per cent. The absolutely directly calculated inevitable consequence of that will reduce investment. Nothing is more certain. If you want people to do less of something, increase the tax. That is why the Labor Party and others advocate an increase in tax on tobacco, because they want people to smoke less. If you increase the tax on investment, you will have less investment—that is precisely what they have sought to do.

We brought out the defence white paper, the first fully costed white paper since 2000. It increases defence funding by $30 billion over the next 10 years. It delivers on our election commitment to return defence spending to two per cent of GDP. What is most important about the defence white paper is that it is a statement about investment and it is a statement about innovation, and it is determined to ensure that, so far as possible, every dollar we spend on Australia's defence capabilities is invested here in Australian technology, in Australian industries, creating Australian jobs. That is our focus. We have gone to the length of establishing a defence industry collaboration centre, headquartered in Adelaide, as honourable members are aware, whose job it is to make sure that we have better connections and engagement, particularly with small businesses, which often struggle to get connected, to get engaged with the giant of the Australian defence forces.

Against the Labor Party's opposition, we secured passage of the legislation, finally—Labor crumbled at the last minute—to ensure that the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement could become operative. That is an enormous achievement, and it was opposed, as we know, root and branch by the Labor Party and the union movement.

For many years, perhaps not everyone—a few vested interests have opposed it—but the vast majority of people understanding the industry have said that the media ownership laws were way out of date, that they predated the internet, that they needed reform. Previous Labor governments—previous coalition governments, to be fair—have not addressed that. We have taken that on. We are reforming the media ownership laws to bring them into the 21st century.

In the Senate today, we are debating some of the most important reforms to this parliament. This is the most important institution in the Australian democracy, and everybody on the other side was united not so long ago—

Ms Plibersek interjecting


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