Wednesday, 6 February 2013
I ask that general business notice of motion No. 1092 standing in my name for today related to revenue collected from the minerals resource rent tax be withdrawn, and I seek leave to make a two-minute statement in relation to this matter.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The Greens submitted a motion to the Senate to force the release of information about actual MRRT revenue collected, which was essentially a carbon copy of our motion which we had sent to them as a courtesy two weeks ago. There are only two minor differences between our motion and the Greens' motion on MRRT revenue information. They do not impact on our overarching objective to force the public release of the information about how much or how little the MRRT specifically has raised. One is the date by which the information has to be provided to the Senate Economics References Committee. The date in the Greens' motion is 15 February, whereas in ours it is eight days earlier. It means that we will not have the information available for scrutiny in Senate estimates. But we have now waited for more than 2½ years for information, so we are happy to wait for another eight days.
The second difference is that the Greens have added a proviso that the release does not breach confidentiality of a natural person. That is of course not a concern for us either. We welcome that the Greens have finally come on board with our longstanding efforts to force the release of mining tax revenue and to force the release of how much revenue Labor's minerals resource rent tax has actually raised so far. (Time expired)
The intent of that motion was to invite Senator Bernardi to provide information to the Senate to ensure that he gave an explanation for the apparent conflict of interest with his position as Chair of the Senators' Interests Committee. I am satisfied that he has provided that explanation to the Senate this morning in response to that motion, so the motion is now withdrawn.