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Thursday, 27 May 1993
Page: 1417

Senator KEMP (9.37 a.m.) —I rise briefly to support the remarks of my colleague Senator Hill on this motion to suspend Standing Orders. I have predicted in this chamber for quite a long time that the Democrats pose a major risk in this community in the sense—

Senator Kernot —A point of order, Mr President. Nothing that Senator Kemp has said so far has related to the urgency of this matter. He is going to read from Getting to Work.

The PRESIDENT —Maybe it is because it is the last day of sitting, but I have been very generous in the speeches that have been made. But I will once again repeat the same point that I made to Senator Kernot—speak to the suspension.

Senator KEMP —I noted your comments on my previous point of order and I appreciate the consistency with which you now wish to apply this. I can understand why Senator Kernot immediately rose to her feet and pointed out that I was going to read from the famous document Getting to Work. It has got this to do with the urgency motion: I have predicted that the Democrats are ceaselessly inviting this Government to bring in tax increases. The mandate of Senator Kernot and her colleagues is to say, `If you want to bring in a new tax, we will support you'. In this economic climate we need the Government to exercise some restraint, to attempt to peel back its expenditure, and for the Australian Democrats to be ceaselessly arguing for new taxes is, frankly, a major risk for the revenue of this country.

  I will just point out that in the document Getting to Work—this is a document put out by Senator Kernot—the Australian Democrats have proposed new taxes of $8.4 billion. Senator Kernot wants a job levy of 1.25 per cent of income, which will raise $2.5 billion.

Senator Kernot —What has this got to do with the urgency?

Senator KEMP —Senator Kernot, on top of the jobs levy, wants a fossil fuel levy of $4 per tonne on black coal, $1.50 a tonne on brown coal, 1c a litre on fuel excise and 0.3c per cubic metre of natural gas with exports exempted—

Senator Kernot —What do you want? You want no public services at all.

Senator KEMP —This levy will raise a neat $750 million. This is not even half of it.

Senator Robert Ray —Mr President, I raise a point of order—

The PRESIDENT —Order! Before I hear the point of order, the chamber shall come to order.

Senator Robert Ray —Since we changed the Standing Orders to only allow five minutes to speak in support of suspension of Standing Orders, the breadth of which people can address issues has been extended. Senator Kemp is now nowhere as near the question of urgency as he was at the start of his contribution.

The PRESIDENT —I ask Senator Kemp to observe the ruling I made earlier.

Senator KEMP —On my point of order, Mr President, you mentioned that the debate could travel fairly widely, but I will bring it back to the matter of urgency. The urgency is this: we have the Australian Democrats proposing a raft of tax increases, including a revenue raising measure to raise $2.9 billion.

Senator Kernot —Mr President, I raise a point of order.

Senator KEMP —Senator Kernot wants to put 15.5c per litre on every—

The PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Kemp knows that somebody has risen.

Senator Kernot —Mr President, I am asking you again to uphold your ruling on the matter of relevance. The honourable senator has flouted your ruling.

The PRESIDENT —Senator Kemp should speak to why there should be a suspension of Standing Orders.

Senator KEMP —I am speaking to the suspension. I am saying that the Australian Democrats want to raise $2.9 billion by a 15.5c fuel excise levy and so the series goes on, a huge raft of tax increases totalling $8.9 billion that Senator Kernot and her colleagues are inviting the Labor Government to bring in. I believe that this poses a major danger to taxpayers in this country and that Senator Kernot's motion should be resisted.

  Question put:

  That the motion (Senator Kernot's) be agreed to.