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Thursday, 21 June 2018
Page: 3546


Senator BIRMINGHAM (South AustraliaMinister for Education and Training and Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (10:00): I will give the Australian Labor Party one thing. The Labor Party have demonstrated how committed they are to higher taxes on Australian workers today. That's what we see here. How committed are the Australian Labor Party and Mr Bill Shorten to stopping tax relief for Australians? How committed are they?

The PRESIDENT: Order, Senator Birmingham. Senator Wong, on a point of order?

Senator Wong: A point of order on direct relevance: the only issue for debate is the procedural one. That's the first point. The second is: you know—so stop misleading—that the point of difference is tax cuts for high-income earners in six years.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Wong, please resume your seat. That is not a point of order.

Senator Wong interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Senator Wong, resume your seat. There's no point of order.

Senator BIRMINGHAM: When Senator Wong and the Labor Party don't get their way, what do we get? We get stunts. We get delaying tactics. We get insults. She directed insults at Senator Patrick. Senator Carr directed insults at Senator Hanson. There are plenty of other insults that come, because, if they don't get their way, there's a great big dummy spit. And, my, what a dummy spit we see from the Labor Party! They cannot accept the fact that the majority of the Australian Senate want to give tax relief to Australian workers. They cannot accept it. And then we get threats. Senator Wong sits there and she says to Senator Cormann across the table, 'We will ensure you will regret this.' That's it: the threats of the Australian Labor Party—threats, insults, stunts, delaying tactics and no principle, because for them it's just all about the game. It's all about the game of delaying the government's agenda.

Opposition senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order on my left! Senators Wong, Cameron and Lines!

Senator BIRMINGHAM: They don't give a rat's if Australians pay more tax. Well, we want to ensure hardworking Australians get the tax relief they deserve. That's what we're committed to doing. This Senate has decided, and so it ought to happen.

The PRESIDENT: Before I put the question, I'm going to ask senators to at least count to 10 after they're called to order before they continue their interjections. At least pause momentarily. The question is that the motion to suspend standing orders moved by Senator Wong be agreed to.