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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6586

Ms JULIE BISHOP (2:24 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Given that the Prime Minister has confirmed today that the same ministers will be conducting the same negotiations with the mining industry for the same $12 billion outcome as before today’s unprecedented political assassination of the former Prime Minister, what policy change has occurred? Or is the change what many suspect—a new face but still same old Labor, same old tax?

Ms GILLARD (Prime Minister) —I thank the same old Deputy Leader of the Opposition for her question and wish her well as she serves her third leader.

Honourable members interjecting—

The SPEAKER —Order!

Ms GILLARD —I have made very clear the government’s attitude.

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER —Order! The member for Sturt! The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD —They just need to settle down a little bit, Mr Speaker. I have made very clear the government’s view about the negotiations: our door is open; we are asking the mining industry to also open its mind. I believe that people of goodwill can sit around a table when there is already a foundation stone of agreement, and here we have one—that the mining industry can pay more tax and that Australians are entitled to their fair share. When you have that foundation stone of agreement and you have people of goodwill sitting around a table, then you can work issues through.

I particularly am reinforced in that view because it is only a few short hours ago that I indicated publicly that the government would remove its advertising from Australia’s television screens and I asked the mining industry to reciprocate that act of goodwill—and already we are seeing our goodwill reciprocated. This does give me confidence that there is room for negotiation; there is an ability to work together in a spirit of goodwill. And we will.