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Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Page: 256


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance) (13:28): The first point I would make is that Senator Milne just does not take no from the Senate for an answer. She is still arguing the supposed merits of her amendment, which the Senate passed judgement on yesterday and rejected. We have in front of us an amendment put forward by Senator Carr that, instead of deferring the implementation starting date to 1 July 2014, in the Labor Party view it should be deferred to 1 July 2016. The whole argument and all of the issues that you have raised relate to an amendment which the Senate considered yesterday and has already rejected.

You ask whom we have consulted. I will tell you whom we have consulted. We consulted the Australian people in the lead-up to the last election. The policy that is in front of us was not only our policy but Labor Party policy in the lead-up to the last election. Do you know what?

That is the way democracy works here in Australia. And I know the Greens have trouble accepting democratic principle. I understand that the Greens would much rather be in charge, with their enlightened views that are so much better than anybody else's, and impose them on everybody else. But the way the system works here in Australia is that every three years we have an election, and every three years the Australian people make a judgement on who they want to be the government. And, as it happens, in the lead-up to the last election the Labor Party and the coalition both went to the election with a policy position, reflected in our costings, which suggested that we wanted tax incentives for research and development to be better targeted and not to go to those businesses generating more than $20 billion a year in assessable income.

Now, we have been going around and around in circles in relation to this. The Labor Party and the Greens, led by Senators Carr and Milne, clearly are desperate to keep the filibuster going. I am not going to continue to support this filibuster. I have been absolutely open and transparent on all of the legitimate issues that have been raised. I have provided an abundance of helpfulness—all the relevant information—and it is time that we bring this now to a close, I would have thought.