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Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Page: 9395


Mr RAMSEY (Grey) (14:32): My question is to the Treasurer. Would the Treasurer outline how getting rid of the mining tax will boost competitiveness and help create jobs in South Australia and elsewhere?

Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (14:32): I thank the honourable member for Grey for his question. We have from the very beginning opposed the mining tax and now we have delivered on getting rid of it. And that is all because the mining tax cost jobs. There is no doubt about that. It had an impact on investment, it had an impact on jobs. There are 3,800 jobs in mining in the member for Grey's electorate but there are hundreds of thousands of other jobs around Australia that rely heavily on the mining industry, and the mining industry did some heavy lifting for Australia over the last few years. But there is no doubt in my mind, no doubt in the mind of the coalition and no doubt in the minds of anyone involved in business that the mining tax was a handbrake on further investment in mining.

Andrew Mackenzie, the CEO of BHP Billiton said:

What I would say to the Senate is, ‘you are destroying huge amounts of potential inward investment that ultimately will pay a lot more tax in a much more stable way … if you do not get rid of the mining tax

Well, they have got rid of the mining tax. Sam Walsh, The chief executive of Rio Tinto said:

We need a measure of certainty in terms of the investments we make … Australia needs to recognise stability and security are exactly what we are seeking.

The coalition is delivering that stability. The coalition is delivering that security because we got rid of the carbon tax and we got rid of the mining tax. That is all about delivering on what we promised. And as we build momentum in this economy—momentum that was actually praised by Stephen Koukoulis today, the chosen economist of the Labor Party and former economic adviser to Julia Gillard. He praised the fact that expectations are in some cases at an 11-year highs.

Mr Conroy: Only because you were sick yesterday!

The SPEAKER: The member for Charlton will remove himself under 94(a).

The member for Charlton then left the chamber.

Mr HOCKEY: It was just one day, mate. Unlike you, I have not got a permanent ailment. The bottom line that we are delivering for Australia is a stronger and more prosperous economy. That is what we promised the Australian people and it comes on the back of all the other economic decisions we have made, from fixing the taxation system to delivering a stronger budget. By getting rid of the debt limit, we are focusing on getting rid of the debt. By getting rid of the debt, we are ensuring that Australia starts to live within its means. And we will not saddle Australians with $25,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in 10 years.

But it goes further. We have delivered two free-trade agreements with Korea and Japan. We have got on with the job of making sure that environmental approvals are accelerated. The Minister for the Environment has done just that. The Minister for Industry has got on with the job of helping industry. This is a team effort. We are focused on delivering.