Page 4826 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 14 December 2005

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Taxation—GST agreement

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Chief Minister. On 25 March 2005, you accused the federal Treasurer of threatening to, one, rip up the intergovernmental agreement on GST, two, raise the GST to 15 per cent or higher and, three, keep the extra revenue from the GST for himself. Chief Minister, when do you expect those three things will happen?

MR STANHOPE: I certainly do not accept as a fact, or a statement of something that I might have said, something that Mr Mulcahy or any member of the Liberal Party puts in my mouth. I am more than happy to take the question on notice and provide an answer in due course.

MR MULCAHY: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, in what way do you believe your intemperate rhetoric contributed to a useful outcome on the elimination of inefficient territory taxes?

MR STANHOPE: In relation to intemperate announcements in relation to budget issues—I think that is the focus of the question—let me go back to the $840 million promised before the last election, just on the retrofitting of every house in Canberra with solar-powered units. I would like a full discussion on temperate—

Mr Mulcahy: I raise a point of order—

MR SPEAKER: Order, minister! I think you should come to the subject matter of the question, tempting though it might be to stray into other areas.

Mr Mulcahy: Would you like me to put it on notice? Is that easier?

MR STANHOPE: The question was about the GST. If I could relate the $840 million to the receipt of GST payments, or their non-receipt, maybe I could—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: I think the way to approach this question, so as not to transgress, is to look at the $840 million promise that the Liberal Party made in relation to solar units and the $250 million that was promised for the construction of the Tennent Dam as and from 18 October 2004 and to compare that with our GST receipts.

Mr Mulcahy: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Your rulings are being constantly defied by the Chief Minister. I think you have made it very clear what is expected and he is disregarding your ruling. I ask you to direct him back to the question.

MR SPEAKER: I think he was going to talk about how—

MR STANHOPE: The GST—I was, if I had not been interrupted. If I had not been deliberately interrupted by the shadow Treasurer because he was embarrassed—

Mr Mulcahy: I’m not embarrassed.

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