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Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Page: 9408


Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (15:07): I thank Senator Macdonald for the words of advice. I will indeed follow his wise counsel.

Senator Conroy: I would not follow 'Wacka' anywhere.

Senator SESELJA: I would follow 'Wacka', but I was actually talking about Senator Macdonald. I am grateful for the advice from Senator Macdonald, as the father of the Senate, and I am grateful for Senator 'Wacka' Williams' advice as well. I am glad that I was able to take 30 seconds responding to Senator Conroy's interjections—

Senator Conroy: Because you've got nothing to say.

Senator SESELJA: This attack from the Labor Party is getting somewhat boring.

Senator Conroy: Would you like me to fill in another few minutes for you?

Senator SESELJA: You are right, Senator Conroy, it is hard to fill up five minutes again responding to the same ridiculous question time tactics that we have seen from the Labor Party. Which strategic genius in the Labor Party came up with the 'devastating' attack in question time that we saw today? Those in the Press Gallery are still reeling from the absolute brilliance that we saw in Labor's question time attack! They are in meltdown up there—in absolute meltdown—over this extraordinary surprise attack on the GST, led by Senator Wong and now followed up by Senator Polley. We never could have seen that coming, and it has left those on this side absolutely reeling! It is an extraordinary attack, and I think whoever thought of it should be congratulated.

Let us talk about what we are dealing with in this country when it comes to tax reform and discussion around tax reform. We are talking about a mature and sensible debate that many are engaging in, except the federal Labor opposition. The federal Labor opposition, through their 'devastating' attacks in question time, are choosing to exclude themselves from that discussion. That is well and good. That is their choice, and they will go to the voters with that kind of a plan and that kind of a record. But the coalition government has a fundamental focus, and the fundamental focus is on growing jobs and growing the economy. That is absolutely what we want to do, and we will do it in difficult times and with global challenges. If we had a serious alternative government, they would have been asking questions about jobs and the economy, because that is the most important thing a government can be doing. Senator Cash talked about something like 290,000 jobs that have been created since the changed Senate.

We came into government with a plan to get rid of the carbon tax, get rid of the mining tax, sign up free trade agreements so that we can grow the economy, and cut red tape for small business. Of course, a number of these things were frustrated for some time by the old Senate. But then we did see the carbon tax removed, we did see the mining tax removed and we have also seen the wonderful work on free trade agreements. We are starting to see the dividends of many of those policies. There are also our small business policies, which are not only about cutting red tape but also giving small business a tax cut and giving them a recent asset write-off. That is starting to flow through the economy. And, as I said, something like 290,000 jobs have been created. I think it is over 200,000 this year. I think that is something the Treasurer has said. That is something that we should be proud of, and it is something that we want to build on.

Some state premiers are engaging in serious discussions about tax reform, and the Commonwealth government is very open to this. Unlike the Labor Party, we don't just want to increase taxes; we are open to the question of tax reform. But it needs to be about—and it will be about—creating jobs and growing the economy. There is nothing better a government can do than create jobs—many jobs and high-paying jobs—for people in our economy, because that is the way people can get ahead and live the most dignified lives. That is what we in this place should be fighting for. The rubbish that the opposition go on with reflects very poorly on them. (Time expired)