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Thursday, 21 June 2018
Page: 3542


Senator DI NATALE (VictoriaLeader of the Australian Greens) (09:44): Let's not mince words here. If we, as a Senate, do not pass the suspension of standing orders—and, as a result, we're unable to debate or amend this bill, and we see the passage of all three stages of the government's income tax package—we'll see the Centre Alliance party, Senator Patrick and Senator Griff, strip services from the state of South Australia so that millionaires can get an extra seven grand in their back pockets. That's what the impact of this vote will mean. It means that South Australia's going to lose $140 million in public services for every $100 million that goes to the wealthiest South Australians. It means people in South Australia will languish longer on a public hospital waiting list. It means students in South Australian public schools will be faced with more up-front costs. It means people in South Australia who can't find a job and are forced to live in poverty on Newstart won't see an increase and won't be able to put a roof over their head. It means that the loss of precious biodiversity will continue apace in this country because we'll be stripping money from the environment department that looks after our precious biodiversity. That's what this tax cut package means.

I look to Senator Hanson. If Senator Hanson and One Nation support this entire package, as they are proposing to do, they're saying to people in New South Wales, in Queensland, in Western Australia and in the states that they represent that their children shouldn't get access to Medicare-funded dental care; that regional hospital waiting lists will increase; that people who are sitting in a GP clinic waiting to see a doctor will end up with higher out-of-pocket costs; and that we're going to see infrastructure in our cities and our regions continue to be unfunded. Why? It's so that Senator Hanson and Senator Georgiou can get a massive tax cut—an extra $11,000 in the pocket of Senator Hanson and an extra $11,000 in the pocket of Senator Georgiou. That's what this means.

The definition of One Nation's battlers is now millionaires, politicians, executives and bankers getting an extra $11,000 and more in their back pocket. That's the new definition of a battler according to Senator Hanson. Senator Hanson thinks that, because we've got bankers in front of a royal commission battling to save their industry, they're the new battlers. These are the new battlers in Australia. They're the bankers; they're the politicians and the executives.

I say to Senator Hanson: don't believe the front pages of the papers. Don't believe the fact that you've been bought off by this government. You're being manipulated and, just like the senior executives of News Limited, you all stand to gain from this tax package. What you're going to see as a result of the passage of stages 1, 2, and 3 of this bill are higher medical costs. That's going to eat up the so-called $10 a week that people on low and middle incomes will receive. It means the children in public schools will have crowded classrooms. It means that, if an organisation like Telstra is privatised and loses 8,000 jobs, those people who are going to be put on the scrap heap and be forced onto Newstart aren't going to be able to put food on the table and a roof over their head.

This is now being presented to us as an all-or-nothing vote. Senator Griff and Senator Patrick from Centre Alliance say, 'We don't want to stand in the way of tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes.' The consequence of that is that we're going to give a tax cut to millionaires and bankers, and we're going to strip away public services in South Australia. Well, that will be on Pauline Hanson's One Nation's head and on the head of Centre Alliance.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation party are frauds. They are here saying one thing to the ordinary people of regional Queensland and New South Wales, but they're in here doing the bidding of the Liberal Party. They're doing the bidding of bankers, CEOs, executives and politicians. Senator Hanson says, 'We're out there in the community representing ordinary people.' Let me tell you, ordinary people don't earn over $200,000 like you do, Senator Hanson, and won't end up with extra money in their back pocket.