Government has run out of legislation - Speech, House of Representatives


House of Representatives, 18 September 2018

It is a pleasure to be debating this bill. I note for the benefit of the House that the only reason we are now in the House debating this uncontroversial tax bill is that Labor voted to stop the filibuster in the Senate.

Twice the government in the Senate voted to keep on filibustering this piece of legislation. There is one very simple reason for that, which is that the government has run out of legislation in the Senate.

Sitting shortly beyond this bill in the Senate Notice Paper is the address-in-reply—the debate over the Governor-General's speech opening the parliament. That is how bereft this this government is of legislation. It is not as though there aren't big questions to be debated. Penalty rates, aged care, health or education could all be the subject of important debate. Labor has called on the government to act to give rights to independent mechanics to get the data they need to fix modern cars, and to give automotive dealers a fair deal.

Labor supports the Treasury Laws Amendment (Black Economy Taskforce Measures No. 1) Bill 2018. We moved an amendment in the other place for a review to commence as soon as practicable two years after royal assent. This is an important review because this bill contains a strict liability offence about which stakeholders have raised concerns. While the Australian Taxation Office has said that they can remit civil penalties in cases of genuine mistakes, stakeholders have said that the use of strict liability provisions for those who put in place alleged sales suppression software could be a step too far.

I'm pleased that the other place has accepted Labor's review. I'm delighted that we were finally able to stop the filibuster in the other place and get the bill down here. This is a government which can't even manage to bring uncontroversial tax bills through the parliament, has given up governing and frankly needs a good spell in opposition in order to sort out what it really stands for.

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.