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Monday, 20 June 2011
Page: 3328

Senator SHERRY (TasmaniaMinister Assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation, Minister for Small Business and Minister Assisting the Minister for Tourism) (20:26): I understand what Senator Brandis is trying to do—that is, of course, to effectively renounce the policy that the Liberal-National Party announced all those years ago. I am sure Senator Xenophon knows that. This is Liberal Party policy which was put into the forward estimates. They supported it until very recently, but the purpose of the opposition amendments is to split the four bills in the alternative fuels package and to address only the unintended outcomes that the opposition put into their own law to overtax biofuels from 1 July 2011.

You had many years to fix this problem, Senator Brandis, when you were in government, and what you are doing now is incredibly opportunistic. This amendment would impact the budget bottom line by approximately $500 million. This is despite the fact that the opposition know that the policy informing these bills is good—in fact, it was coalition policy from 2003. The government does not support the amendment.