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Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Page: 4191

Mr LINDSAY (2:49 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, Miriwinni Lime is a North Queensland, family owned, agricultural mining operation that extracts limestone, dolomite, gypsum and calcium silicate to supply a range of industries across Queensland like the sugar, banana, pineapple, mango, peanut, avocado, maize, dairy, beef, potato and poultry industries. Prime Minister, I refer you to this letter from Russell Wilkins, Director of Miriwinni Lime. He states:

If a 40 per cent mining super tax is extracted from the profit we make, the added cost of our products would impact greatly on the consumer.

Prime Minister, why do you want to impose a great big new tax on Miriwinni Lime, given the impact it will have on this business, the industry it supplies and consumers right across Queensland?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —I thank the member for Herbert for his question. On the consultations at present between companies and the Treasury panel, they cover businesses from right across the mining spectrum. I would encourage the honourable member to ensure that the company in question is fully engaged with the consultation panel. Secondly, the member for Herbert asked a question about the impact on cost of living of the government’s overall tax reform proposal. I would draw his attention again to what is contained in the Treasury’s analysis of the overall impact on consumers and, furthermore, to the analysis just referred to by the Treasurer in his response and particularly to the comments today by Professor Quiggin on the question of the overall impact on prices.

When it comes to prices, as the honourable member would be aware, the changes to the company tax rate and for small businesses also will have an impact on how profitable those businesses are overall. Can I say also that the profitability of those firms, particularly if they have a turnover in excess of $5 million, is directly affected negatively by the Leader of the Opposition’s great big new tax on every business in the country turning over more than $5 million. The flow-through impact on cost of living for bread, milk and other basic grocery items right across the food chain is significant, as many people from the corporate sector very plainly pointed out when the Leader of the Opposition announced that policy only a couple of months ago—a policy he continues to support. I would also encourage the member for Herbert to encourage his constituent to directly engage with the Treasury panel and to ensure that the concerns raised by them are effectively addressed by the Treasury.

Mr Lindsay —Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table the letter from Miriwinni Lime, which the Prime Minister requested.

Leave not granted.

Mr Pyne —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Perhaps the Leader of the House did not hear, but during the Prime Minister’s answer he asked the member for Herbert to give him the letter from Miriwinni Lime. He is tabling it so that the Prime Minister can get it.

The SPEAKER —I am unclear what the point of order is, because I am obliged to ascertain whether the House will give leave for a document to be tabled. If it has passed people by, it only requires one person to deny leave. There was no point of order.