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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 8677

Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (19:37): Well, I thought I put it as eloquently as I could. This $15 million figure is a figure that we identified in the course of our policy development process in opposition. It is the result of extensive consultation with relevant communities across rural and regional Australia. We do not believe that a zero-dollar figure is appropriate. It is not something that we have modelled because it is not something that we would entertain. In the end, it is a judgement call. Every individual senator, of course, is entitled to form their own judgement and vote accordingly. Our recommendation to the Senate is that the appropriate threshold is $15 million. There are alternative proposals in front of the Senate. Of course, if Senator Lambie is of the view that it should be zero dollars, there is an amendment circulated by Senator Lazarus that would give effect to her preferred proposition. The government do not think that it is in the national interest for us to go down that path.