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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1904

Mr VAN MANEN (FordeGovernment Whip) (19:35): Well, what a surprise. After Bill Shorten and Labor's embarrassment at their failed 'Mediscare' campaign, you would think they would think twice about peddling a new negative campaign of lies. But apparently not—

The SPEAKER: The member for Forde needs to refer to members by their correct titles and be careful about unparliamentary language.

Mr VAN MANEN: Thank you, Mr Speaker—the Leader of the Opposition and Labor's embarrassment on their Mediscare campaign. Just like Mediscare, there is a new misleading campaign by desperate unions and the opposition, without their own ideas. Last week, my electorate was targeted by the AMWU with a campaign about multinationals not paying their fair share of tax. Either Labor and the unions are too bored to listen or they are ignoring the fact that Australia has some of the toughest multinational tax laws in the world. And who passed that legislation? It certainly wasn't those opposite. It is the Turnbull coalition government that has cracked down on companies trying to get out of paying their fair share of tax. While Labor and the union sit around coming up with Mediscare 2.0, it is this government that has passed legislation and implemented measures to penalise companies and recover tax that should have been paid in Australia.

Labor's Mediscare campaign was laughable: they said the coalition was going to abolish Medicare. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sadly, they were hoping that vulnerable Australians would fall for their cruel trick to allow them to win government. But, last time I went to the doctor, I noticed that Medicare is still there and bulk billing rates are at a record. What a joke those opposite and their union mates have become.

Last week, the AMWU ran radio ads, put up billboards and cold-called constituents in my electorate, peddling a campaign against ExxonMobil as a multinational company that has purposely avoided paying tax in Australia; and they claimed it was the fault of this government. Can those opposite tell me what they have done to stop multinationals from shifting profits offshore? They did absolutely nothing in their time in government; and, when they had the opportunity to do it in this place, they voted against it. The laughable thing about all of this is that this ridiculous campaign targeting marginal seats last week had nothing to do with workers or tax but has everything to do with a union fight with ExxonMobil. The AMWU are currently in the middle of a workplace dispute with the company, so it's no surprise that campaigns like we have seen are being conducted in my electorate.

The Leader of the Opposition walked away from the 2016 election with his credibility shattered over their Mediscare campaign. However, that hasn't stopped them from starting this new campaign trying to mislead the Australian people. When it comes to corporate tax, the government has introduced the toughest multinational tax laws in the world to crack down on companies that try and get out of paying their fair share of tax here in Australia. These measures, legislated in November 2016, passed this House and the Senate despite the attempts of those opposite to oppose them and stop them. While Labor criticises, runs smear campaigns and tries to block our legislation to raise money for people who should be paying the right amount of tax to pay for schools, hospitals, roads, rail and child care, we are getting on with the job of doing those very things for this country.

We have seen with these laws a diverted profits tax which began on 1 July last year. We've established a tax avoidance task force within the ATO. We've increased penalties for breaches of tax-reporting obligations. We work internationally with other countries to make sure companies are not giving different information to different jurisdictions to try to avoid paying tax. Unlike those opposite, this government has acted on and is committed to acting on multinational tax avoidance and has continued to do that with measures that are necessary to ensure that all people in Australia pay their fair share of tax. (Time expired)