Senate debates

Monday, 19 June 2017

Bills

Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017; In Committee

11:48 am

Photo of Ian MacdonaldIan Macdonald (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Okay. I will save you asking it. If it works for goods above $1,000 and the end of the world hasn't come then, quite frankly, I do not mind if it does add a little bit of cost to the importation of goods, because, again, that suits the main issue I have with this bill in that it makes Australian retailers that bit more competitive against foreign imports by mail or otherwise. It does not worry me that it makes things a little bit more expensive; it does help the retailers.

If you walk down any street of any town in Queensland, you will see many retail shops vacant. One of the reasons given to me by people who used to be in those shops is that they simply cannot compete with the items coming in from overseas, for many reasons; the first of which is that their customers pay 10 per cent more than those same customers would pay if they ordered it online from overseas. Those customers get the good—I am told—in two or three days, because the logistics companies are so good these days at getting the goods to your door. That efficiency is quite remarkable. I struggle to find how those logistics companies would then find it at all difficult to collect and disburse the 10 per cent. This will be my last question: if it is okay for another thousand dollars, why not below $1,000?

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