Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016; Second Reading
Many of these measures are from the former Prime Minister, the member for Warringah, Tony Abbott. These were the zombie measures that he could not get through the last parliament, because in the last parliament people had the courage to stand up to the former Prime Minister and say: 'No, the way that you are raising money is unfair. You should be taking it from those who can afford to pay, not those who can't.' We fended him off for a couple of years but, as soon as the election is out of the way, in the second week of parliament, what does the opposition do? They crawl over to the government benches and say: 'How can we sign up to some of those measures? We opposed them for a couple of years, but that was just for the election. Now that the election is out of the way, let's get on with it and sign up.' That is why they are trying to push this bill through with very short speeches from them, because they know in their hearts that they are signing up to measures that they fought for a very long time and for good reason. They know that they have taken the easy way out by cutting funds for renewable energy instead of winding back the subsidies that the likes of Gina Rinehart gets.
We are calling them out. The Greens will not be supporting this bill. There are too many measures in this bill that attack those who cannot afford it. There are too many measures in this bill that attack clean energy and attack research and development at a time when we should be putting money into those areas. We will not be supporting this bill. I heard some talk from the opposition benches about having saved ARENA and I have explained why that is not the case. In the detail stage of this bill, we will give the opposition a chance to actually do that. I will be moving an amendment to remove the cuts to ARENA, full stop. We can find the money from other places. So I urge the opposition to rethink their willingness to cut half a billion dollars out of renewable energy, because it is not too late. The money can be found from elsewhere. When I move the amendments, I hope that all those words about saving ARENA are put into practice, because we can do it right here, right now. It is a bad bill with or without amendments.