Wednesday, 10 May 2023
Statements by Senators
Workplace Relations: Qantas
We made the point that if the Australian Labor Party are going to fund the 'nice to haves', the stadium, then they have absolutely no excuse not to fund the must-haves: roads and health—the services Tasmanians are calling out for and demand equality on, not what we've been served up. But instead they take money out of roads and they put it into a stadium. It's interesting, I have to say, that there's barely been a peep out of any Labor federal member of parliament post budget or, indeed, post the stadium announcement. It does say a lot about Labor's priorities in Tasmania.
I want to make a couple of quick points in my final couple of minutes. I want us to turn our minds back to 28 November 2022, last year, when Senator Carol Brown, a proud Tasmanian, made some points in a debate on the very issue we were just discussing: the stadium. She made the point that the Premier of Tasmania—a very, very good Premier—wasn't listening. She said:
… nearly everyone I've spoken to has indicated that there are other things that the Tasmanian government should be looking at. There are other priorities, and they go to health, hospitals, housing and education … They—
and in this she's referring to the Tasmanian state opposition, led by Rebecca White—
… have talked about people coming up to them and asking: 'Why can't we put that money to hospitals? Why can't we put that money to housing? We're in desperate need.'
Of course, Senator Brown does acknowledge that the Tasmanian government have asked for funding for those things. It's interesting that Senator Brown made those points in November of last year but, only a couple of weeks ago, found herself standing there on the waterfront of Hobart, nodding furiously in the background as the Prime Minister handed over $240 million for the construction of a stadium.
It's going to happen. The Australian Labor Party have pulled a swiftie on Tasmanians. They're going to take away our GST as a result of giving us money for a stadium. Not only are they dogging us on health funding and roads but they're giving us a stadium and then making us pay for it by taking away our GST. Yesterday I asked the Leader of the Government in the Senate to guarantee we would not lose our GST funding through this. She refused. Not one Labor member has stood up and asked that this be quarantined. So today I challenge any Labor federal member of parliament to seek a guarantee from the federal Treasurer, Dr Chalmers, or the Prime Minister that we will not be worse off under GST because of your commitment to a stadium. It's the wrong thing to do. By taking away our GST—