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Monday, 19 June 2000
Page: 15069

Senator HOGG (2:00 PM) —My question is to Senator Hill, representing the Prime Minister. Isn't Garry Nehl, the member for Cowper, correct in claiming—

The PRESIDENT —`Mr Nehl', Senator.

Senator HOGG —Isn't Mr Garry Nehl, the member for Cowper, correct in claiming that his integrity and that of the coalition parties have been impugned by the government's decision to apply a 5.5 per cent GST to mobile home and long-term caravan park rentals? Given that the government had promised prior to the election that there would be no GST on residential rent, why is the government persisting in discriminating against the approximately 160,000 long-term residents of caravan and mobile home parks?

Senator HILL (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —Obviously the honourable senator on the other side is mistaken. The position of long-term renters, whether they be in mobile homes or whether they be in flats or houses, is approximately the same. In relation to caravan parks, certainly be-cause such parks include a mixture of short-term and long-term renters, a different formula has been applied. But equity has remained. So the position of long-term renters in caravan parks is not, in terms of cost to the renters, different from that of those living in long-term housing accommodation. That is a fair situation that has been developed to meet the requirement of caravan parks which are a mixture of long-term and short-term. It is fair to the residents. I am sorry that the honour-able senator on the other side does not understand.

Senator HOGG —I have a supplementary question, Madam President. The minister, in answering my question, failed to address part of the question. Maybe he can have a shot at it this time. Is it true that the government promised prior to the election that there would be no GST on residential rent? That was the first part of the question that he did not answer. Is it also true that the government is applying a 5.5 per cent GST to residential rent which is paid for mobile homes and caravans? Isn't this a cut and dried broken promise?