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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 12519


Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (12:53): I note the comments of the member for Casey. I also draw attention not to what he said but to what he did not say. I was waiting for him to announce in front of us here today that, if elected, it would be coalition policy to restore the 15 per cent withholding rate to the 7.5 per cent that previously existed under this government. That would be a very significant contribution from a person who was a part of a government that, when they left government, left the rate at 30 per cent. But it is, of course, becoming commonplace in these debates that those opposite, conscious of the importance of us running a tight budget, jump up and down, whinge and complain but when it comes to the crunch you do not hear any announcement from them that they are going to restore the position as it was. In fact, perhaps the member for Casey would like to make such an announcement.

I am sure that the stakeholders that he referred to in his comments would very much welcome that contribution, but I would also suggest to the Australian people that, if one is listening to this debate, the absence of a commitment of that nature shows that this party, which in government delivered a 30 per cent rate, not 15 per cent and not the 10 per cent that we are debating today, is not serious about cutting rates. Of course, these rates relate to foreign investors and the contributions that they make to investment in Australia and the tax rates relate to the return that they receive. We believe 10 per cent in relation to clean buildings and 15 per cent in other respects is an appropriate balance. That is what we think strikes the balance appropriately.

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.