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Thursday, 17 June 2010
Page: 5771

Mr RAMSEY (2:40 PM) —My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister. I refer the Deputy Prime Minister to this letter to shareholders from OneSteel Chairman Peter Smedley, and I quote from it:

The Whyalla and Newcastle businesses in total employ approximately 4,000 employees and contractors. Any adverse impact on OneSteel also has flow on implications for our employees and these local communities in which we operate.

Deputy Prime Minister, were you, as part of the kitchen cabinet, and was the Prime Minister, whom you are representing here today, aware of the implications of the superprofits tax on OneSteel’s steel-making operation when the Treasurer announced the tax in his budget?

Ms GILLARD (Deputy Prime Minister) —I thank the member for his question. As the Prime Minister has made clear, and as the Treasurer has made clear even as recently as his answer to a question in question time today, obviously in considering the resource super profits tax we considered what was best for economic reform and economic growth in this country. The member raises with me the circumstances of businesses in his local community. Well, let us actually look at the resource super profits tax package, because the member might like to reflect on this question: is it in the interests of businesses in his local community to have a company tax cut? Is it in the interests of business in his local community to have the special tax benefits for small businesses?

Mr Ramsey —Mr Speaker, on a point of order—

Mr Robb interjecting

The SPEAKER —Order! The member for Goldstein!

Mr Ramsey —Mr Speaker—

The SPEAKER —You will get the call when your colleagues allow you, I have to be frank. Now they are quiet, the member for Grey on a point of order.

Mr Ramsey —Mr Speaker, the point of order is on relevance. The question asked if the Deputy Prime Minister was aware at the time they announced—

The SPEAKER —The member for Grey will resume his seat. The member is allowed to rise on a point of order, and basically the only point of order he can raise is on relevance, but he cannot then cherry pick parts of his question. The Deputy Prime Minister is responding to the question.

Ms GILLARD —I was asking whether the member for Grey may have reflected on the benefits for small businesses in his community of the new small business tax write-off arrangements that are in this package. Of course the government, in designing the resource super profits tax, considered what was appropriate to ensure that the nation benefited from this resources boom, that we still continued to see mining companies grow and make good profits, that we still continued to see working people who work in mining earn good wages and that we could see a fair share for the nation overall, including the companies and small businesses in his electorate as well as the working Australians whose superannuation would grow from nine to 12 per cent in his electorate.