Thursday, 18 October 2018
Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Bill 2017; In Committee
I just want to put on the record that One Nation will not be supporting the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Bill 2017. The fact is that it is enabling the TPP-11 trade agreement, which we do oppose. The fact is that I have grave concerns that, with this change, it can be challenged in the court system by multinationals. I don't believe it's in the best interest of Australian businesses. There is talk about trade deals and that we've got the same arrangement overseas. I then challenge them to answer why the New Zealand Prime Minister had a side letter to omit the ISDS clause with some countries.
There's nothing here with the other bill. I'm sorry to say that it didn't happen in this chamber that we had the opportunity to talk on the taxation bill, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Lower Taxes for Small and Medium Businesses) Bill. It was One Nation that negotiated with the government and the crossbenchers to get it up from a $10 million turnover to a $50 million turnover, which we supported. The Labor Party have backflipped on this and this is why they don't want the debate in the chamber. It's because the Labor Party only wanted it at a $2 million turnover. They were not supporting small or medium-sized businesses at all. So it is a flip-flop. It is a backflip by the Labor Party. They accuse me of flip-flopping. I'll tell you what—this is the biggest flip-flop from the Labor Party on taxation.
As I said at the time when we supported it, I question why it was so far down the track. If it's such a good deal for small and medium-sized businesses, why is it taking so long to actually introduce the bill? So I'm pleased to see that it is being introduced. I would personally have liked to see some help in the payroll tax of all the states to increase the threshold. I believe that would have created more employment than the corporate tax cuts. I had a meeting and a discussion with international CEOs of big companies, huge companies, from around the world. They said they weren't interested in corporate tax cuts. They were more interested in dealing with industrial relations, plus also payroll tax, which is more important to them and would have created more employment than this corporate tax cut. So it's a shame that it couldn't be debated at all.
Also, under this bill, I don't believe that you, the government, are addressing the multinationals that are not paying their taxes in this country. We have over 700 companies in Australia that are not paying their taxes here. You've opened up the TPP agreement now, so we're going to see more companies here in Australia. You're encouraging them to come and invest here, but you are not fighting for them to pay their taxes in Australia. I believe that is a crying shame.