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Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Page: 12252

Goods and Services Tax

Mr FITZGIBBON (Hunter) (14:38): My question is to the Minister for Agriculture. Minister, given the Prime Minister's failure to rule out a GST on food, just how much will a lamb roast cost with the introduction of a GST?

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: there is no proposal before anyone in this parliament to increase the GST; therefore, that is a hypothesis on a hypothesis and should not be allowed as a question in this place.

The SPEAKER: The member for Hunter on the point of order?

Mr FITZGIBBON: What question can we ask in this place, if we cannot ask a responsible minister about the impact of a policy proposal on the price of food for Australian families—

The SPEAKER: The member will resume his seat. The Leader of the House?

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, on a serious note: there is no proposal. How can the Minister for Agriculture comment on a matter which, therefore, is not within his portfolio responsibilities?

The SPEAKER: Both members will resume their seat. I am tempted to rule the question out on the basis that it is silly. But on the basis that—

Mr FITZGIBBON: Madam Speaker—

The SPEAKER: The member will resume his seat.

Mr FITZGIBBON: This is a very serious business, Madam Speaker.

The SPEAKER: You could have fooled me. I said the member will resume his seat. I call the Minister for Agriculture.

Mr JOYCE (New EnglandMinister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader of The Nationals) (14:40): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. It gives me great pleasure to add the retort that the only people who have done modelling on expanding the GST is the Labor Party. The Labor Party has done the modelling, so the Labor Party would obviously know the answer to that question. Is this as good as agricultural policy is going to get from the Labor Party? Is this all that we can expect from the Labor Party on agricultural policy? I am afraid it is, because they went to the election and they had—and I quote from The Land: 'No ag policy for ALP'. None. They did not bother going to the election with an ag policy. Obviously, that is what they think of agriculture. I think it was best outlined by the headline in The Land, which you can see here: 'Labor's epic fail'.

The SPEAKER: We do not use props.

Mr JOYCE: It is the Cecil B DeMille of failure. But they have got better, because I have now found their agricultural policy. Here it is—one page. I am happy to announce to the House that two of the policies are ours. In fact, they said: 'For more information on the white paper on developing Northern Australia, click here. For more information on the agricultural competitiveness white paper'—that is the one we did—'click here.' So, if you want an agricultural policy, click here.

Mr Fitzgibbon: Madam Speaker—

The SPEAKER: The minister has concluded his answer. Do you have another question?

Mr Fitzgibbon: He cannot possibly be finished.

The SPEAKER: The member will resume his seat.