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Thursday, 24 May 2001
Page: 24326


Senator FORSHAW (2:57 PM) —My question is directed to Senator Vanstone, the Minister for Family and Community Services. Why has the government refused to listen to the 161,000 Australians who live permanently in manufactured home parks or caravan parks? Why is the government continuing to discriminate against these people by allowing the GST to be imposed on their rent? Aren't these 161,000 Australians absolutely justified in believing that the Howard government is `mean, tricky and out of touch'?


Senator VANSTONE (Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women) —The short answer to that question is: no, they are not. This is an issue that has been raised by a number of people. I know there are differing views on it. With the greatest respect for the length of the period of time that you have been lucky to be here, you should have understood that your question is more properly directed to Senator Kemp.


Senator FORSHAW —Madam President, I ask a supplementary question. Isn't it the case that the government has only given a choice to the mobile home park owners as to whether or not they apply the GST to site fees and that it has given no choice at all to the residents? Why is it that, out of all those Australians who live in rented premises, only residents of mobile homes have been singled out to pay GST on their rent?


Senator VANSTONE (Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women) —Senator, I did say that you were very lucky to be here, and the fact that you have asked a question again to the wrong person only confirms that for me. If you are asking a GST related policy question, you know very well, and all your colleagues know very well, that you should be directing them to Senator Kemp.