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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5930

Mr IAN MACFARLANE (Groom) (21:15): I move:

(1) Clause 2, page 1 (line 9) to page 2 (line 6), omit subclauses (1) and (2), substitute:

This Act commences, or is taken to have commenced, on 30 June 2011.

In moving the amendment to this bill, the coalition is simply trying to give business and industry some certainty. I know those who sit opposite think certainty is delivered by imposing a tax, and they have just imposed a tax on some 800,000 vehicles, most of which are owned by families. The purpose of this amendment is to ensure that on 30 June 2011 the production assistance measures to the biodiesel industry—

Honourable members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. Peter Slipper ): Order! Would honourable members cease milling around in the chamber. Either leave the chamber or resume your respective seats.

Mr IAN MACFARLANE: It is because we cannot trust the government to even cross the road without falling over that we move this amendment. We need to ensure that the arrangements to support the biodiesel industry are continued without a break. There is no guarantee that this government can deliver this legislation in the Senate, and on that basis we move this amendment.

This amendment is to supply certainty to the biodiesel industry, unlike what has just been delivered to the LPG, CNG industry, which is a new tax. Because those who sit opposite—

Honourable members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! There is too much audible conversation. As the Deputy Speaker, I cannot hear the honourable member for Groom. All members will remain silent.

Mr IAN MACFARLANE: Mr Deputy Speaker, I once said in this House that it is very difficult to hear yourself think, but I will not say that again. Those who sit opposite may think this is a jovial matter but the reality is that the biodiesel industry in Australia in particular has struggled under cost impediments, many of which are going to be accentuated when this government introduces a carbon tax. What we hope to do with this amendment is to give the industry some certainty at a time when industries Australia-wide face constant increases in their costs and constant increases in their taxes. For the biodiesel industry, these sorts of disruptions cannot be tolerated.

Had the government been responsible, they would not have linked these four bills together and tried to blackmail those people who did not want to introduce a tax on families. What they did was to link the four bills so that, if all four do not pass, royal assent is not granted. We do not gamble with people's lives. We do not gamble with their livelihoods.

Mr Shorten interjecting

Mr IAN MACFARLANE: I do not think the minister opposite should ever use the word 'cliche' in the same sentence. The reality is that the only way to deliver the certainty that the biodiesel industry needs is to support this amendment so that, if the government in its usual inept style is unable to guarantee the passage of this legislation and into royal assent by 30 June—which I remind the minister is only a few weeks away—the biodiesel industry will not be wrecked like every other industry that the government touches. They have the reverse Midas touch. We are going to try and help them actually get something right for a change.