Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister for Employment, Senator Abetz. Is the minister aware of any new proposals to revise the mining tax and can the minister advise the Senate of the impact that another revision of the minerals resource rent tax would have on jobs and investment in my home state of Western Australia?
I thank Senator Eggleston for his question and acknowledge his very keen interest not only in all matters Western Australian but especially in the resources sector and the jobs-rich sector that it has been, can be and will be under us if our package to get rid of the mining package is finally passed by those opposite.
Let us be absolutely clear. First of all we had Senator Sterle's hapless Labor Party giving us the resource super profits tax
When that was a debacle, they moved onto the minerals resource rent tax. And, as of last week, we now have the third version, courtesy of Mr Shorten, who is considering yet another revision of the tax. There is uncertainty, upon uncertainty, upon uncertainty and job destruction, upon job destruction, upon destruction in the state of Western Australia that used to have a '3' in front of its unemployment figure. It is now nearly at six per cent, at 5.9 per cent, because of the huge damage being done to the Western Australia economy by the mining tax and the carbon tax—both of which we seek to repeal.
So what we have now is Mr Shorten, in Western Australia, hand on heart: 'I empathise with those people in Western Australia. We will revise the mining tax. We will look after their jobs.' He says one thing in Western Australia and then he comes to this place in Canberra and says and does exactly the opposite. He pretends to empathise and then he comes to Canberra to betray the people of Western Australia—the jobseekers of Western Australia—and all the opportunities that we can see blossoming for Western Australia are being frustrated by Greens and Labor senators in this place who are more interested in the cheap politics; whereas we are interested in job creation and we will continue on that path. (Time expired)
Opposition senators interjecting—
We all know that there has been a collapse in mining investment in this country and, therefore, it is no surprise that organisations such as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Business Council of Australia and the Minerals Council of Australia have said in a joint statement:
What the mining sector needs now is a reduction in costs, and certainty about the tax environment it operates in. That will help bring home the next wave of investment in this important sector.
And, with that wave, will come jobs. That is why we as a government are wanting to get rid of the mining taxes and the carbon tax and the red and green tape; so we can provide jobs.
Senator Wong interjecting—
We say to the Labor Party in particular—at least the Greens are quite clear on where they stand. They dislike mining, they do not want any mines and they do not want anybody employed in the mining sector. At least we understand their position. (Time expired)
Senator Eggleston is absolutely right to concentrate on the importance of the need for the next wave of investment in the mining sector, especially for the state of Western Australia, a state that is suffering a surge in its unemployment because of the crippling taxes that the Labor-Greens alliance is this place imposed upon the sector and is now refusing to remove.
Senator Sterle interjecting—
Let's be absolutely clear: we want this new wave of investment because it will create a new wave of jobs and job opportunities for our fellow Australians, and especially for our fellow Australians that live in Western Australia. That is why on 5 April the people of Western Australia will have an opportunity to vote to get rid of the carbon tax, to get rid of the mining tax and to bring the CFMEU into line by voting for the coalition at the Senate election.