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Monday, 20 June 1994
Page: 1718

Senator IAN MACDONALD —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)notes that:

    (i)the Queensland Labor Government is imposing a limitless, retrospective tax, called a performance dividend, on all local council borrowings from the Queensland Treasury Corporation, which will place severe financial burdens on councils,

    (ii)in April 1993, the Queensland Treasurer promised that such a tax would `not go ahead in any form',

    (iii)the Queensland Local Government Association executive director has accused the Queensland Government of `bully-boy tactics' over the issue, and

    (iv)a bitter verbal brawl has erupted between the Queensland Labor Party factions, with the Treasurer (Mr De Lacy) accusing the Townsville Labor Mayor (Councillor Mooney) of acting like a juvenile and threatening to have his council's finances investigated by Treasury officials and to publish the results, and with Councillor Mooney claiming that Mr De Lacy has an $8 million hole in his budget and is using councils to fill it;

  (b)calls on the Federal Government to review the allocation of financial assistance grants to Queensland to ascertain if there is a way of compensating Queensland local authorities for this tax rip-off by the Queensland Labor Government out of grants usually made to the State Government; and

  (c)notes that development of regional areas will be hampered by yet further taxes on local authorities and ratepayers in regional Queensland as a result of this newest Queensland Government tax.