House debates

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Questions without Notice


2:14 pm

Photo of Michelle LandryMichelle Landry (Capricornia, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Will the Deputy Prime Minister update the House on how the government is cutting taxes and delivering certainty for working families and small businesses in Central Queensland, including in my electorate of Capricornia? Are there any risks to the plan to reward hardworking Australians?

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

If the Leader of the Opposition were so committed to businesses and so committed to workers, he would have backed the tax cuts that the Liberals and Nationals have put in place. He would have backed the 27½ per cent tax rate, which is the lowest it's been for 78 years.

Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for McEwen is warned.

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

That doesn't happen by coincidence. It happens because the Liberals and Nationals understand business and understand small business. I tell you what: the member for Capricornia understands business. She understands, because she walks up and down East Street, the main street in Rockhampton, each and every non-sitting day, talking to business, listening to them and seeing what they say. They're telling her that they certainly want those tax cuts. They certainly don't want Labor rolling back those tax cuts. What Labor members should do on their non-sitting days is go into the small businesses in their electorates and look those people in the eye and say: 'We should have supported those tax cuts. We should have supported you getting more money in your pocket. We should have supported you having the ability to hire more Australians, giving young Australians the opportunity to get their first job, giving an older Australian an opportunity for another career.'

I tell you what: the member for Capricornia knows. She knows Simone Lawrie from Artisan Gluten Free Bakery. It's in East Street, Rockhampton. It's supportive of company tax cuts. It's also supportive of the Rookwood Weir—a $176.1 million contribution from the Commonwealth to not only help flood mitigation for Rockhampton but also droughtproof that particular area. Artisan has won a suite of business awards across the region and the state. It makes a mean apple turnover, I'm told.

Certainly, when it comes to turnovers, Labor don't understand the difference between turnover and profit. They think that if a business has a big turnover that equals a big profit. Well, that's not necessarily so. That's why we've got those tax cuts. We're working hard to make it easier for small businesses. Artisan employs 11 staff. It's a good little small business. Each and every one of the Labor members should go into their good little small businesses and apologise for the fact that they haven't backed the Liberal-Nationals tax cuts and for the fact that they also stand for higher power prices. Higher taxes and higher power prices are the Labor way. They are the way of the member for Maribyrnong.

We're investing in critical infrastructure in the member for Capricornia's electorate—Rookwood Weir, as I said, $176.1 million; and the Bruce Highway, $10 billion. I talked to a truckie the other day. The investment that we've made in the route from the Gracemere saleyards to the Rockhampton abattoirs is going to save trucks decoupling. It's going to save them two hours of time. That's the sort of infrastructure that we're investing in. And we back small businesses with lower power prices and lower taxes.