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Monday, 29 February 2016
Page: 1331


Senator LAZARUS (QueenslandLeader of the Glenn Lazarus Team) (16:54): The Turnbull government is in a panic at the moment, or should I say paralysis. All they seem to be worried about is how they can game the system to take control of the Senate so they can ram through legislation to force hardworking Australians to dig deeper, while multinational companies make billions of dollars in our country and pay very little or no tax. Malcolm Turnbull is like a sparkler.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Bernardi ): Senator Lazarus, you should refer to the Prime Minister as Mr Turnbull or as Prime Minister.

Senator LAZARUS: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is like a sparkler. He was all fizz and excitement at the beginning of his leadership and now he is burnt out and we are left feeling like we are holding a smouldering stick. The only difference between a sparkler and Mr Malcolm Turnbull is that people like sparklers. Meanwhile, the Turnbull government is in paralysis. My home state of Queensland is still in drought, farmers are still taking their lives, unemployment is at record high levels and jobs are going overseas. We still do not have any water infrastructure solutions, our farms are being sold off to the Chinese; and CSG mining companies are continuing to poison our people, to contaminate our water and to destroy our farmland. There is absolutely no tax policy in sight. There is nothing in sight: no policy, no action, no ideas, no strategy—nothing. There is just a plan to take ownership of the Senate so the big end of town and other countries can take control of our country.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister Morrison have repeatedly said that 'tax reform is a vital issue for the prosperity of Australian businesses and families', but they have failed to provide any solid proposals. The coalition has already announced that if they could get away with it they would hit families with an increase in the GST to 15 per cent.

Now, we have seen them flip and flop on the capital gains tax and that they are out to help homeowners, but preferably those with five homes or more. What we need in Australia is help for hardworking Australians and a policy to stop the sell-off of our country. The Turnbull government needs to stop going after people who are struggling and start going after the big end of town. We are repeatedly hearing from the Turnbull government that big companies produce jobs, wealthy investors need assistance more than the average Australian and that we need to trim the fat by going after pensioners, students, and low income earners.

What I would like to see is the Prime Minister and Treasurer stop fighting over their own lack of a strategy and stop blaming their lack of effective governance on the crossbench. The Turnbull government should get its own house in order, stop attacking Australian families and go after the multibillion dollar companies paying less tax than the average income earner. And, Malcolm Turnbull, you need to come up to the Queensland gas fields as you promised.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Lazarus, as I mentioned you should refer to members in the other place by their appropriate titles.