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Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Page: 7293


Mr KEENAN (Stirling) (17:04): In the couple of minutes I have left to conclude my remarks, I really just want to remind the House what it is we are actually discussing here today. This bill was part of the announcements made by the Labor Party in the recent budget, brought down, astonishingly, only last month. We stand here six weeks later and today this is the second time we are going to be considering government amendments to their own budget. This is a government that holds such a tenuous grip on this parliament that they cannot actually deliver a budget for longer than six weeks. This is the most extraordinary thing. Can you imagine Peter Costello and John Howard walking in here for any of the 11 budgets that they brought down whilst we were in government, and then six weeks after the fact, saying, 'Hang on, we cannot actually deliver this. We are going to have to make amendments to our own legislation and knock out some of the revenue measures.'? This is what is happening on this particular bill and what has happened on some other measures that the parliament has been considering this morning on managed investments trusts.

This is a great indicator of everything that is wrong with minority governments, about the failed experiment that is the hung parliament and why the expectations that Labor had given the Australian people that they could govern through this mess have turned out to be absolutely hollow, like so much else of what the Labor Party have told the Australian people. Minority government is an experiment that has truly failed. You know that it has failed when six weeks after the budget has been brought down by the Treasurer the government cannot even adhere to the plan that it laid out for the Australian people.

We are very proud of the fact that we have got the government to back down on indexing this particular tax. We have saved the small businesses in the tourism industry, and the larger and medium-sized businesses for that matter as well. We have saved them from being subject to an automatic tax hike every year to pay for Labor's failures to control its spending. We are very proud of doing that. The tourism industry is a very important industry for Australia. It employs 900,000 Australians. It really need not have been subject to an attack from this increase in the passenger movement charge.

A government that cannot bring down a budget and adhere to what it has announced six weeks later is a government that has clearly lost the confidence of the House. A government that cannot adhere to a budget for more than six weeks is a government that has lost the privilege of governing the Australian people. The sooner we can put an end to the farce that is this minority government the better off the Australian nation will be.