Page 4232 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013

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the substance of the issue. He either avoids it entirely, which he did, or he engages in vitriol, which he did.

As to Mr Rattenbury, I think your credibility will suffer. In a way you sort of ate your own argument by saying, “I am calling for documents; I think these all should be out in the public arena,” but then accepting that there are no documents. Until we have all the documents, we will not know what further analysis there is. The unfortunate thing for you is that, if and when you do release your FOI document, people will say, “Why should we have any faith in this when first and foremost you would not reinforce and respect the primacy of the parliament to have the documents it has asked for and back the parliament up when the standing order was breached?”

And have no doubt: the standing order has been breached. Section (m) and section (h) make it quite clear that orders were given. As I said this morning, Madam Speaker, with his own document we get offered an overview. We did not want an overview. We wanted the documents so that we could look at them ourselves. We are now being asked to believe that, with the Quinlan tax review, this small pile of documents constitutes the entire evidence for the tax reform that the ACT is undergoing where people now are seeing their rates increase significantly and will see them increase significantly more and more over the coming years as this government fails to meet its commitments.

This is an important motion. It is not a stunt. I will continue; I will pursue. I will follow this using every option that I have available to me, including rewriting standing order 213. If it is the opinion that the modification that Mr Rattenbury made is too weak, I will either come back on the original motion or work on another motion. And there are other avenues open to us as well. We will continue to ask the questions, as we are charged to do as an opposition, looking out for the ordinary folks of the ACT, the people who have to pay the bills that come about as a result of this tax reform. I believe their rates will triple, because they can only do that when you take the taxes away that this minister says he is getting rid of. Mind you, most of them are still collecting a lot more tax than they used to, and they continue to rise, so it will be interesting to see whether he can even deliver. He has got the headline; he has got the grandstand; he is the great reformer. But he is yet to deliver it, and he is yet to deliver it because he cannot pay for it.

I suspect that as a result of the campaign we ran last year, and our continued interest and diligence in this matter, you will see the reforms modified again and again, and watered down to avoid the logical outcome: when you get rid of all the taxes that this Treasurer claims to have got rid of, even though some of the take on them still continues to grow, and you apportion that into rates, the rates must triple.

Members, I commend this motion to you. It is a good motion. It is a motion that is worthy of support because it is this place that holds the executives and ministers to account. This place has obligations and rights, and an expectation to receive documents when we call for them, simply following the processes outlined by the Greens. It is funny that the second time it is abused it is the Greens that undo the process.

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