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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 3980


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:17): My question is to the Prime Minister: data from the Australian Tax Office shows that four out of five Tasmanian workers earn less than $80,000 a year. Why is the Prime Minister giving large multinationals a tax cut at the same time as leaving four out of five Tasmanian workers with absolutely nothing?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:18): I can well understand the excitement and the anticipation that the Leader of the Opposition has as he awaits the Treasurer's budget tomorrow night. I can understand him being convulsed with all of the speculation and feverish questions. He only has to wait until tomorrow night. Rather than asking speculative questions based out of fantasy, he can learn it all tomorrow night from the Treasurer.

The Treasurer will set out a plan that will drive jobs and growth right across Australia. It will drive jobs and growth right across Tasmania, where—as the honourable members representing Tasmanian electorates know full well—we are seeing stronger growth there than we have for many years. The reason for that is in large part because of the free trade agreements that Andrew Robb negotiated when he was trade minister. Let us not forget that all of those jobs in Tasmania that are the result of that free trade agreement—especially the agreement with China—would be gone if Labor had its way.

Remember the bitter and vicious campaign the trade unions waged against the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement? Remember how the Labor Party was opposing it? Only at the eleventh hour did they finally buckle and recognise the reality that the opportunities for Australia in free trade in those big markets are enormous. Time and time again—pick your policy area—Labor is unfailing in its determination to stand in the way of jobs, growth and opportunity.