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Monday, 3 June 2013
Page: 4740

Mr BRIGGS (Mayo) (11:47): We share the member for Lyne's confidence in the Treasury and Finance but we certainly do not share the member for Lyne's confidence in the Treasurer and the government which the member for Lyne and the member for New England support. There is a small fact that the member for Lyne may wish to acquaint himself with—it came from an act of parliament put in place by the best Treasurer Australia has ever had, Peter Costello, in 1996—

Mr Windsor interjecting

Mr BRIGGS: The member for New England might not want to follow the standing orders that he sanctimoniously claims that he supports all the time but if he would not mind not interrupting during this it would be terrific.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Owens ): Order! The member will address his remarks through the chair.

Mr BRIGGS: The Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 has several divisions. Division 1, section 10, budget and economic fiscal outlook report, starts with:

The Treasurer is to publicly release and table a budget economic and fiscal outlook report at the time of each budget.

So that is the Treasurer's own document. Division 2, the midyear economic and fiscal report, is owned by the Treasurer, I remind the member for Lyne. The Treasurer is responsible for the public releasing and tabling, under division 3, of the final budget outcome report, Member for Lyne. The Treasurer is responsible, under part 6, for the intergenerational report, Member for Lyne. And under part 7, the pre-election economic and fiscal outlook report, the responsible secretaries publicly release, member for Lyne.

So there is a distinction in the acts of parliament, putting aside the fact that the Treasurer and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation have their names attached and signatures on the actual budget document. It is their document. That is the executive responsibility of the government of the day.

The forecasts, the numbers and all the projections are the work of the Treasurer and the minister for finance. Of course they are advised. Of course they take advice and information from the Treasury and the finance department. We support the Treasury and the Department of Finance and Deregulation in the work they do, but they are owned and operated documents and directions from the executive government. It is a perfectly clear fact, and we are perfectly right to question the government when they put in policies that have such negative consequences not just for today but for the future.

I will just point to one that the member for Lyne has supported up hill and down dale—that is, the mining tax, the farce of the mining tax that he still supports to this moment. He nods his head in agreement—the farce of the mining tax! This is a document that the Prime Minister herself takes credit for. There is no Treasury involvement there. In fact, they bragged about them not being in the room. We know that other Independents in this chamber know a fair bit about the mining industry as well.

This mining tax is the tax that in this forward estimates, in this budget year, was expected to have $4 billion in revenue. Do you know how much it has raised? How much has it raised? It has raised five per cent, but it gets better. The member for Lyne is sitting there going: 'This is terrific. Woo hoo! What a great job the Treasurer is doing. What a great job this government I am propping up is doing. Five per cent!' Guess how much the government has spent on it? One hundred per cent of the five per cent it got. You joke, seriously. This is the government that this member for Lyne supports. That is just one example of where the Treasurer and his document, the one that he signs off on, are a farce.

Another example, one close to my heart, was last weekend, where we had in the low-detention facility in Inverbrackie a convicted Egyptian jihadist—and the member for New England laughs. He laughs! You will be answerable to the electorate about this.

Dr Leigh: Madam Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order on relevance. I would urge you to draw the member back to the matter before the chair.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The parliamentary secretary has a point. The member was straying quite significantly from the— (Time expired)