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Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Page: 3491

Mining


Ms LIVERMORE (Capricornia) (14:18): My question is to the Treasurer. By getting the minerals resource rent tax done, how will the government now deliver its benefits throughout the Australian economy?


Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:19): I thank the member for Capricornia for that very important question. The passage of the MRRT is an historic reform for this parliament which will benefit working Australians and small businesses right around our country. Members of parliament from our side of the House voted for very important measures to spread the benefits of the mining boom right across our country and right into every postcode of our country because we believe in a fair go for all Australians. Those on the other side just support the vested interests of a few.

On this side of the House we have the interests of working people very much at heart. That is why, for example, we voted for the instant asset write-off of $6,500, which will go to 2.7 million small businesses right around the country. Those on the other side voted no. We voted for a huge boost to the superannuation savings of 8.7 million Australian workers, but they voted no on that side of the House. We also voted for a $500 boost to the superannuation savings of those on the lowest incomes in our country, but those on that side of the House voted no. Everybody on this side of the House supported revenue which will go to investment and infrastructure right across our great mining regions, but they on that side of the House voted no.

A few words about the role of the Prime Minister and the role of the Minister for Resources and Energy in this historic reform. The Prime Minister went into bat—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: No. I will determine whether the Treasurer is out of order. The Treasurer is out of order and he will return to the substance of the question.

Mr SWAN: The Prime Minister went into bat for millions of Australian workers, including in the electorate of Capricornia, to have their superannuation boosted.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The Treasurer will be heard in silence for the balance of his 56 seconds.

Mr SWAN: The Prime Minister went into bat for the workers and the small businesses in Capricornia. The Leader of the Opposition went into bat for the mining billionaires. That is what occurred in the parliament. This is a very important and historic reform for our country. It will strengthen our economy, it will strengthen investment and it will strengthen employment, and that is why we on this side of the House so enthusiastically support this major long-term reform for Australia.






Ms LIVERMORE (Capricornia) (14:22): I ask a supplementary question of the Treasurer. The Treasurer has spoken about the benefits of the mining tax for the economy. What does this mean for local communities in my electorate of Capricornia in Central Queensland and for others represented in this chamber?


Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:22): This historic reform will benefit 14,200 small businesses in Capricornia. It will boost the superannuation accounts of 48,800 workers in Capricornia and there will be a significant upgrade to the intersection of the Bruce Highway and Capricorn Highway through this revenue stream. There will be a significant injection of funds into the Peak Downs Highway and it will support the Mackay Ring Road Study. What we see here in Capricornia is what we ought to be doing with the superprofits of very profitable mining companies: investing in the future, supporting employment, supporting small business, supporting the savings for the retirement of our workforce. We can do all of these things through this great historic Labor reform and we are doing them in Capricornia.