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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6749


Mr MITCHELL (McEwenSecond Deputy Speaker) (15:42): It is always good to follow a National Party member who has obviously been drinking the water downstream from the herd. Five minutes—and not one thing about this budget!

A government member interjecting

Mr MITCHELL: You ought to talk; you are a great one. Let's have a talk to the nothington over there who has done absolutely nothing but decimate his electorate. He and his mate from Corangamite shut down the national rural farmers health service. They shut it down—because they do not support farmers. They do not support people in regional areas. They sit there and they say they do all these things and they get the clown prince 'Jar Jar Binks' Joyce over there to come in and rant and rave, but he could not talk about the budget. The reason he could not talk about the budget is that this petrol tax, which the government increased, despite saying that they would not increase taxes, is hurting rural and regional Australians.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Order! The member for McEwen. Order!

Mr MITCHELL: Sit down, sugar boy! Put the paper on—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for McEwen will resume his seat. I call the member for Dawson.

Mr Christensen: Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Could Jabba withdraw that reference to the agriculture minister?

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Was the minister offended by the comment?

Mr Joyce: I cannot even understand him.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The minister is not offended. The member for McEwen will continue.

Mr MITCHELL: I know that the agriculture minister finds it hard to understand because I speak in fluent, coherent English, and that hurts him. He has no idea.

I spoke to people in my electorate about this fuel tax and what it means. The government comes in here and tells another untruth when it says, 'It is only going to impact 40c a week.' That is a lie. The average person—

A government member interjecting

Mr MITCHELL: No, he said 'week'. Please listen to your own minister—I know it is hard and it is painful and it is shrill, but try and listen to him. Every week the average person in rural and regional areas uses at least 100 litres of fuel. They will now pay extra tax on that fuel—a tax that lot said before the election they would not have—and an increase in the GST on that tax—a tax on a tax that is built on a lie that is built on a lie. It is unfair. Because we do not have shops on every corner, hospitals in every town and access to schools and public transport, which we know this government is afraid of, the impacts are greater.

The impacts are so great that a former Liberal minister came out of her slumber. The member for Wannon would certainly know this minister who was dragged out of her slumber and said that this tax is unfair and unbelievable. Your former employer Fran Bailey, a Liberal minister in the Howard government, said how disproportionately this affects country areas. It affects country areas because they need cars to travel. Most people travel 30 or 40 kilometres to school and have to travel 60 to 70 kilometres to get jobs in regional areas.

This government before the election said that they would be a government th no surprises and no excuses and that there would be no increases in taxes, but they did every single one of those things. The foreign minister, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, said: 'It's wrong to say we are talking about increasing fuel excise. We're not doing that.' But in actual fact they did. When the Prime Minister was asked before the election whether the conditions of the budget would be an excuse for breaking promises, he said: 'Exactly right. We'll keep the commitments that we make. All the commitments we make will be carefully costed.' We found out through The Weekly Times this week that the government has not done an impact statement on the impact of this fuel tax on rural and regional Australia.

Mr Joyce: The Prime Minister before the election was your one, you clown!

Mr MITCHELL: Jar Jar, get back to the bar. The Australian Automobile Association CEO, Andrew McKellar, also called on the government to rule out any budget that would increase the fuel excise.

Mr Joyce: Get the lines right. Don't stumble.

Mr MITCHELL: Coming from the fluent idiot! He said that any increase in fuel excise in this budget would be unjustified—and it is—and that motorists are already paying too much and—

Dr Hendy: Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The current speaker has been using the word 'lie', which I understand is unparliamentary. He has been using several unparliamentary words and I would like him to withdraw them, please.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It depends on the context in which they are used, but if the member for McEwen would assist the chamber. The member for McEwen's time has expired anyway. But, Member for McEwen, would you assist the chamber by withdrawing the reflection—

Mr Mitchell: I am more than happy to assist you, in particular against the member for New England.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.