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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3261

Ms O'DWYER (Higgins) (13:59): I am very pleased that the current Treasurer is in the House, because today I rise to congratulate a great friend, mentor and inspiration of mine—my predecessor in the seat of Higgins and former Treasurer, the Hon. Peter Costello AC. Last week Peter was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa by Monash University. He was awarded this most prestigious honour for 'his significant contribution to Australian politics and his instrumental role in both the public and private sectors in Australia.'

Peter Costello remains Australia's longest-serving Treasurer, a position he held from 1996 until 2007. During the period, he brought down 12 consecutive federal budgets, including 10 surpluses. He eliminated Commonwealth government net debt of $96 billion and introduced the largest tax reform in Australia's history, called 'A New Tax System', which introduced the GST, abolished seven taxes, and reduced income, capital gains and company taxes. Amongst other things—

The SPEAKER: Order! In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.