Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Ten Morning News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

The bitter row over mining tax and

a Coalition get-tough policy over

asylum seekers have dominated

Federal Parliament this week.

Joining us to debate these and

other issues are Housing Minister

Tanya Plibersek in Sydney and

Shadow Communications Minister Tony Shadow Communications Minister Tony

Smith, who is in Canberra. Thank

you both for joining us. How are

you both, today? Terrific, thank

you. And you? Good, thank you. Good

and yourself? Very well.

Mr Smith, the Opposition's new

policy on asylum seekers is very

much a return to the Pacific

solution - has how it's being

hailed - and temporary protection

visas. You'd be forgiven for

thinking that John Howard is still

running the Coalition. Well, look,

the point we've made is that, when

we were in government, we stopped

the boats and when we are in

government again, we'll stop them again. Now, what's happened here

over the last two years is very

clear. The figures tell the story.

Kevin Rudd took a policy that was

working and broke it. And now we've

got 128 boats, 6,000 people and

he's lost control of our borders.

When we're back in government,

we'll take control of our borders.

We'll use the policy platform that

we know has worked in the past, and

it will work again. Labor's plan is

to keep doing nothing. Their plan

is for continued border protection

failure. On that, Tanya, if I can

just ask you, your Government has

reversed a lot of its reform on

asylum seekers. We've seen a lot

more asylum seekers reaching our

shores. Are you both now just

engaged in a race to see who

appears toughest on boat people?

Well, let's just take what Tony

said. He said they stopped the

boats. In fact, there were 242

boats during the time of the Howard

government with 13,000 asylum

seekers. Take one example. They

said they've gone back to temporary

protection visas. After they protection visas. After they

introduced temporary protection

visas, inle following two years,

there were 8,500 people who went on

these visas and 90% of them are

still in Australia today. So I

think they're interested in talking

tough but the practical changes

that we've made make a more

substantial difference to any of

the back-to-the-Howard-era policies

we've heard in the last couple of

days from the last Opposition. We

might now move on to the mining tax.

Do you think the Government is

willing to improve on the super

profits tax so much so that the

miners will be happy? The small

concessions we've spoken about has

not been received well by the

miners. You've got to ask yourself

about some of these people, OK?

You've got Andrew Forrest out there

- You're going to attack the miners

now. He's got a personal wealth

from $2 billion to $4 billion in a

year. He's number three on

Australia's rich list. Number two

on the rich list is another miner

and they're complaining about with a fortune of over $4 billion

paying a slightly bigger share of

tax. Now, these resources, these

minerals - Tanya, you're attacking

these people personally - Tony,

please let me finish. Let me finish

please. You're attacking them

before thousands of Australians.

Let me finish please. These

resources - you can only dig them

up once. They belong to every

Australian. These minerals, these

things in the ground, you dig them

up once, they're gone. We sell them

overseas. We want a fair run for

these resources. They are 100%

owned by every Australian and every

Australian deserves to benefit and

they're going to benefit through

increased superannuation in their own accounts. They're going to

benefit from a reduction in the

company tax rate from 30% to 28%

and they're going to benefit by massive investment in the infrastructure that actually keeps

the mining sector going. It's

expensive to build roads and rail

and ports, all of the things that

the mining sector relies on and

we're saying that we will use the

tax receipts from this new tax to tax receipts from this new tax to

pay for extra super for every

Australian, for company tax cuts

for every Australian company and

for the infrastructure that we all

need to keep the Australian economy

strong and you've got to remember

we own these resources. Tony, your

response to that? Well, look, Tanya's response illustrates two

things. I mean her personal attack

on mining leaders really lets the

cat out of the bag. I mean this is

all about Labor Party payback for

people that criticise them. You

cannot - Oh, what nonsense. You

Qantas a company leader criticise

this Government without some form

of payback and we've seen some more

this morning. The fact is the

mining industry plays a critical

role in our economy. This

announcement has been a disaster.

It's a window into the Rudd

Government's policy failures on so

many levels. But the point is this

will damage our mining sector,

damage the economy, and the price

is paid by all Australians. Now,

Tanya's the Housing Minister. I

mean all of the things that go into

building a house, those prices rise

as a result of increased taxes. And

an increased cost base. We've got a

ridiculous situation, where Tanya

and her colleagues are trying to

say if they increase tax on the

mining sector, that will be good

for the mining sector and create

more investment. But if they

increase taxes on alcopops and

cigarettes, that leads to an

opposite effect. They can't have it

both ways. This is a damaging tax.

They spent more months conceiving

this disaster and the mining

leaders who are speaking out are

speaking out about the cost to jobs,

the cost to Australia's economy and

its competitiveness. Look, you just

talk about housing for a minute

there. Every builder, every trades

person that pay as company tax rate

now will go from 30% to 28%.

They'll be able to claim deductions

on investments up to $5,000

straight up. They won't have to

depreciate new assets over time.

This is a great deal for them and

it's a great deal for all of their

workers who will see increased

superannuation because of the money

we're putting in. Now, someone

who's 30 years old now can expect

an extra $108,000 in their superannuation - The superannuation

is separate - It's not separate,

Tony. Because we cannot fund it

without this new tax. Oh, look - We

cannot fund it without the new tax.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We

need to introduce this tax to

reduce the company tax rates, to

pay for increased super for working

Australians and to pay for the

investment in roads and rail and

ports and all of the other

infrastructure that our mining

industry needs. Look, the problem

is no-one in the Rudd Government

will listen to logic on this.

Whenever a mining executive puts

forward a point of view, they're

attacked. Wayne Swan attacked them

this week. You've attacked them

again today. But it's not just the

mining industry leaders. It's

respected economists across the

board have made the point that this

will be very damaging for Australia.

That is exactly - The fact is -

Exactly the opposite is true, Tony.

Exactly the opposite is true. We

had 20 respected economists come

out yesterday and say that this is

a very important tax for Australia's economy. We've had -

and I'll tell you something else.

This is nots about attacking mining

executives - Well, you just did at

the start of the program. You

attacked someone's personal wealth.

It is no surprise that people who

are being asked to pay a little bit

more tax jack up about it. A little

bit more? A little

Conom And pay their fair share

based on the fact that these

resources belong to every Australian.

How much is the little bit more?

How much is the little bit more? If

we don't get the full value of

these resources when we dig them up

and export them, those resources

are lost to Australians forever.

We're asking big mining companies

to pay a little bit more tax and

they're complaining about it.

There's no surprise there. We are interested in governing for the

national interest. We know you can

dig this up once, export them once

and if we don't get their full

value, they're lost forever. I'm

sure this could go on for many more

minutes or hours - We'll finish it