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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 6813


Ms LANDRY (CapricorniaChief Nationals Whip) (14:19): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Will the Deputy Prime Minister update the House on how regional businesses are using tax cuts to create jobs and opportunities around Australia? How would a different approach affect regional jobs and confidence for investment?

Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaDeputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Leader of The Nationals) (14:19): I thank the member for Capricornia for her question. When you've actually run a small business, you understand how a little bit of tax relief goes a long way. The people of Rockhampton, Sarina and Central Queensland have got a fighter in the member for Capricornia. She understands, she cares, she's delivering and she's getting results for businesses such as Artisan Gluten Free Bakery in Rocky. Its owner, Simone Lawrie, backs our plans to get on and build the Rookwood Weir and to cut taxes. She told the member for Capricornia: 'I currently employ 11 staff here but I'd love to put on more staff and provide more jobs, and I'm sure that this would be the case once Rookwood Weir is under construction. And tax cuts are such a great help.' That's what she said. The member's getting results in infrastructure as well with the investment in the Bruce, Capricorn and Peak Downs highways. We back jobs. We back confidence, and we're delivering tax cuts. That's what this Liberal and Nationals government is all about. We changed the law to make it easier for small, medium and family enterprises, but now those opposite are threatening to take all of that away.

But Labor is mystified by aspiration. It's against the better deal for small, medium and family enterprises. It doesn't want to get better opportunities for Central Queenslanders. In Longman, Labor wants to hold back the growth of more than 12,000 small, medium and family enterprises. It doesn't want cafes in Caboolture to grow and hire staff. It wants to block brickies on Bribie Island from getting ahead. And we wonder how this so-called party of workers got to where they are. It might have something to do with Labor taking the 'u' out of 'labour' way back in 1912. I borrowed a very interesting book from the Parliamentary Library called A Federal Legislature. It's right up there with the new shadow small business minister's book called Hearts & Minds, published in 2013. It probably sold more copies. Hearts & Minds is still available at bookstores, which are benefiting from tax cuts brought about by the government.

In this particular book, there's a very interesting table about the Labor Party back in 1912. It says that in that Labor Party, primary producers accounted for 4.2 per cent of members; professional, 16.7 per cent; business/commercial, 14.6 per cent; and—listen to this one—tradesmen and workers, 50 per cent. Could you believe that! And union and party officials accounted for 14.6 per cent. Compare that to what we have now: staffers and unionists comprising 80 per cent of those opposite. Most of them have never worked a day in their life. That's right. They don't understand. The small business shadow minister doesn't get it. I say to the people watching this telecast at home, to the farmers listening to the broadcast on the radio, to the people of Longman, Braddon and Mayo, remember this: we know why Labor turned its back in 1912. It's because they've forgotten about you. They've forgotten about you. That's right. (Time expired)