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Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Page: 4646

Senator WILLIAMS (New South WalesNationals Whip in the Senate) (12:38): I would like to have spoken for some time but cannot because debate in this place is restricted, thanks to the government and the Greens. Once again we are on about tax—taxing the private sector, undermining the confidence of overseas investors by demonstrating that there is sovereign risk attached to this country and changing the rules. We are moving the goalposts halfway through the game.

When will this government learn that it is the private sector that drives our nation's wealth? That is where the money comes from; governments do not have money. The government is doing its best to cripple the very sector that drives our nation's wealth. I am proudly wearing a badge that says, 'I love small business.' Here is another tax that has been brought into this place simply because of the mess those opposite have made. Schedule 4 has been thrown out—thank goodness!—but those opposite want to make it retrospective. It is unbelievable to see how much of a mess they can make. They were warned by business. The business world warned the government in 2010 that this would blow up in their face, and it has. Once again the business world was right. Of course we do not expect the government to understand business—most of them come from the trade union movement; most of them have never run a business.

Senator Jacinta Collins: I don't know anyone who thinks you represent business.

Senator WILLIAMS: I have spent all my life in the private sector, in the small-business sector, Senator Collins—all my working life. You should get out there and learn about it. But, no, you are in here robbing the private sector again. You are anti small business. It will start again this Sunday with the introduction of the carbon tax, your broken promise. The Australian people will not forget that broken promise—they are not fools. They will put it in a saved file and, come the next election, they will square up to you for what you have done to the business sector in this country.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order! The time allotted for consideration of these bills has now expired. The question is that the bills be now read a second time.