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Wednesday, 1 November 2000
Page: 21847

Mr CREAN (2:00 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, in light of the pain being suffered by struggling Australian motorists across the country because of your record high petrol taxes—

Government members interjecting

Mr SPEAKER —The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has the call and will be heard in silence.

Mr CREAN —They think it is a joke, but they know it is not. It is very real, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER —The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will come to the question.

Mr CREAN —Prime Minister, can you explain why the fuel tax issue has been left off the agenda of this week's Premiers Conference?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —There is a very easy explanation for that. That is that, under the new Commonwealth-state financial arrangements, the old begging bowl Premiers Conference is meant to be a thing of the past and it is only state premiers that are trying to reverse that forward looking policy decision.

Mr Crean —Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table the proposed agenda for the forthcoming Premiers Conference, which shows that petrol is not even on it.

Leave not granted.