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Thursday, 5 December 1985
Page: 2999

Senator ELSTOB(12.05) —Members of the Australian Labor Party have been asked not to enter this debate but it has gone too far. The Opposition has shed crocodile tears. Perhaps I should not call honourable senators opposite the Opposition as they are fighting so much amongst themselves that they have left the opposition to the Australian Democrats. That is what has happened. Let us get down to the facts as to what is happening in the Australian community today. I know of a case where 20 people went to dinner and a doctor brought out a slip of paper and said: `Sign the doctor's certificate'.

Senator Parer —Were you there?

Senator ELSTOB —I was not there; the matter was reported to me. I was not given the names, otherwise I would report them. That is the type of abuse that is going on. One man abused him and walked out, saying: `I will never have anything to do with you again'. He told me that. That is the type of abuse that the wage and salary earners of this country have been paying for. They have paid up to $30 a week more than they should in taxation. The Opposition's crocodile tears are a disgrace. This abuse has been going on year after year. The people who get up, put their coat on and go to work every day and never get any thanks are the ones who have been overcharged in taxation. It is easy for the so-called Opposition to laugh and snigger. Certainly there will be little hiccups with any new legislation but the Government can adjust for those hiccups. The abuse of the system has gone on for far too long. Somebody has to pay taxation in this country. If it is not picked up by one person it must be picked up by another.

I am sick and tired of sitting here hour after hour listening to abuses of the tax system. It is all right for the Opposition; it is not acting as an opposition. Honourable senators opposite are all fighting amongst themselves. They are not doing the work; it is being left to the Democrats. They should be called first at Question Time. They are the people who have done the opposing. Members of the Liberal-National parties are not worthy of being called the Opposition and I for one am not going to sit here any longer and listen to all the nonsense they have been carrying on with. It is a disgrace to the people who have worked in this country year after year and been exploited and overcharged with taxation. Honourable senators opposite have supported corrupt people, tax dodgers and exploiters while ordinary people have picked up the bill. It is a thorough disgrace. To say that the Government has done deals with the Democrats is a disgrace. They have acted as the official Opposition. Over the last few weeks I have been tempted to raise a point of order when honourable senators opposite have been called the Opposition as a courtesy. Members of the Liberal and National parties are no longer the Opposition. They fight continually amongst themselves and are not doing their work.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Haines) —Order! I ask all honourable senators to remember that the question before the Committee is that clause 9 stand as printed. I ask all honourable senators to confine their remarks to the contents of clause 9.