Thursday, 9 February 2012
(1) That the Senate:
(a) notes the Government has not complied with:
(i) the order of the Senate, made on 1 November 2011, ordering the production of information relating to the cost of measures attached to the mining tax over the current forward estimates, and
(ii) a number of other outstanding orders in relation to mining tax revenue estimates and related assumptions;
(b) notes the Government has not taken any action to meet its commitment to have the Information Commissioner arbitrate on any Government refusal to release information sought by the Senate; and
(c) affirms the importance of receiving the information about mining tax revenue assumptions and the costings of all the related measures promptly to facilitate proper scrutiny by the Senate of the proposed mining tax and all the related measures.
(2) That the orders of the day for the following bills may not be called on until the orders of the Senate have been complied with and the Senate has passed a resolution agreeing that the bills may be listed for debate:
Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011
Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011
Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition—Customs) Bill 2011
Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition—Excise) Bill 2011
Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition—General) Bill 2011
Petroleum Resource Rent Tax Assessment Amendment Bill 2011
Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (Imposition—Customs) Bill 2011
Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (Imposition—Excise) Bill 2011
Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (Imposition—General) Bill 2011
Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Bill 2011
Tax Laws Amendment (Stronger, Fairer, Simpler and Other Measures) Bill 2011.
Mr Deputy President, I seek leave to make a brief statement.
Today is the day the Greens have joined Labor's mining tax cover-up. Today is the day the Greens have put themselves right in front of Treasurer Swan and have protected him from releasing information which the Senate has insisted for the last 18 months needed to be provided so the Senate would be in a position to properly scrutinise the credibility of the mining tax revenue estimates and to properly scrutinise the credibility of the costings of all of the promises Labor has attached to the mining tax.
The government, of course, continues to refuse to release of the mining tax revenue assumptions. Why is that, Mr Deputy President? The reason for that is that the government clearly has something to hide.
Thank you, Mr Deputy President. I will continue with my statement. The government clearly know that their mining tax revenue assumptions are dodgy. They clearly know that if their mining tax revenue assumptions were publicly released then they would not stand up to scrutiny. This is, of course, why the government continue to persist with their refusal to release that information.
I remind the Senate in my brief statement of what the Greens said in relation to this about six months ago. Senator Bob Brown was quoted as saying that the lack of information on the mining tax was increasingly unsatisfactory and:
The time is coming where the Senate is going to have to flex its muscle. If the information is really commercial in-confidence, the Senate committee could meet in-camera, but what the Treasury is in fact saying is that bureaucrats are allowed to have crucial information but parliamentarians, who are being asked to vote on the relevant laws, are not. It is illogical and unacceptable.
Order! Could I advise all senators that the Procedures Committee has made a determination in relation to that and I advise senators to read the determination in relation to this item of business each time it occurs on every day of the sitting week. Senator Cormann, I believe your time has expired.