Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Questions without Notice
Energy, Workplace Relations
I think one of the things we could do straight away in this next billing cycle is take the GST off electricity bills for families. It would be an automatic reduction of 10 per cent. People would feel an impact straight away …
Does the Turnbull government support Mr Dutton's policy proposal? If not, will the government rule out taking GST off electricity bills for families?
What the senator just raised does not represent government policy. Of course, independent backbench members of parliament are always free to raise policy proposals and policy suggestions. But it is not government policy.
I again refer to Mr Dutton, who this morning said:
… we could set up a Royal Commission into electricity and fuel companies.
Does the Turnbull government support Mr Dutton's policy proposal? If not, will the government rule out a royal commission into electricity and fuel companies?
I refer the honourable senator to my answer to her first question. This is not government policy, but individual backbench members of parliament are, of course, entitled to raise issues as they see fit.
This morning Mr Dutton confirmed he wouldn't be changing the Turnbull government's approach to penalty rates. Can the minister confirm that, no matter who leads the Liberal Party, the Liberal-National government will remain committed to cutting the wages of working Australians by supporting cuts to penalty rates?
The honourable senator is misleading the chamber, because we are not cutting penalty rates at all. The independent organisation that has made a judgement in relation to penalty rates was set up by the Labor Party. It was set up by none other than Mr Shorten. He is the one who decided to set it up in a way that was independent from government, because he wanted to protect Australians from a future coalition government. Now, you are asking a coalition government to do what you legislated to prevent us from doing. So, it is your work that is leading to the decision in relation to penalty rates by the independent Fair Work Commission. It is Bill Shorten's work that has led to the decisions of the independent Fair Work Commission. You're just misleading the Senate.