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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 12518


Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (12:50): The coalition is supporting this amendment. As the Assistant Treasurer outlined, these flow from the relevant parliamentary committee, of which you, Madam Deputy Speaker O'Neill, are the chair and I am a member. They sought some clarifications that needed to be made, and the government has accepted those.

In the course of speaking on these amendments, with respect to the contribution from the member for Melbourne it needs to be pointed out that his support of the government's legislation in June doubled the relevant tax rate that we have been discussing in this debate from 7.5 to 15 per cent. He claimed credit for this legislation, which reduces the 15 per cent rate to 10 per cent. As we have said, we have not opposed that. The second reading has occurred. It is a tax reduction over and above the tax doubling. But as the member for Flinders pointed out, it is a tax increase from prior to June and it is a tax increase from the government's 7.5 per cent rate, which they introduced—the rate that the Assistant Treasurer says was too low.

The constituents in the electorate of Melbourne need to know of the great triumph of the member for Melbourne in representing that electorate as a member of the Greens—an electorate that has lots of buildings in it. His net contribution has been to increase the relevant tax rate for green buildings. Before the member for Melbourne entered this place the general rate was 7.5 per cent for all buildings. Now, as a result of his dealing with this tax-increasing government, his net contribution has been to increase the rate to 10 per cent for clean buildings, and, of course, the general rate to 15 per cent. In this debate the member for Melbourne is one of those who says he likes to see a lot of sunlight in the debate, and there will certainly be sunlight on this issue.