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Pages tagged "Vote: against"




AGAINST – Bills — Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Bill 2023; Second Reading

Sue Lines

The question is that the second reading amendment moved by Senator O'Sullivan be agreed to.

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AGAINST – Motions — Auditor-General: Water

Wendy Askew

At the request of Senator Davey, I move:

That the Senate requests the Auditor-General to perform a comprehensive review and analysis of all water recovery programs made to date by the current Government; and that the Auditor-General's examination covers all aspects of those water recovery programs, including but not limited to:

(a) reviewing all transactions related to the water recovery programs to ensure they comply with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules under subsection 105B(1) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; and

(b) assessing the financial implications of water purchases, including cost-effectiveness and value for money in achieving program objectives; and

(c) evaluating non-financial factors, such as environmental impact, community benefits and long-term sustainability of the water resource management strategies employed.

Sue Lines

The question is that general business notice of motion No. 453, standing in the name of Senator Davey and moved by Senator Askew, be agreed to.

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AGAINST – Committees — Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee; Reference

Sue Lines

The question is that the amendment as moved by Senator McKenzie to business of the Senate No. 1, standing in the name of Senator Rice, be agreed to.

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AGAINST – Motions — Albanese Government

Simon Birmingham

I seek leave to move a motion relating to the Albanese Labor government's betrayal of Australian taxpayers, as circulated.

Leave not granted.

Pursuant to the contingent notice standing in my name, I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter—namely, a motion to allow a motion relating to the Albanese Labor government's betrayal of Australian taxpayers—to be moved and determined immediately.

I ask this Senate to give time to debate a matter that has been on the tips of Australian tongues for the last few weeks and, indeed, in doubts that have been in the back of Australians' minds for the last few months and couple of years. That, of course, is the Albanese Labor government's betrayal of taxpayers. They are killing off reform of our income tax system. They have trashed the aspirations for millions of workers to get ahead without facing bracket creep. They have demonstrated that, when it comes to what they say on tax, they simply cannot be trusted.

Australians are all well aware of the old saying, 'lies, damned lies and statistics', but now, for many of them, it's 'lies, damned lies, and the Albanese Labor government'. Time and time again, Mr Albanese, Mr Chalmers, Senator Gallagher—those opposite—reassured us that stage 3 tax cuts would be delivered as legislated. Do you know why they were asked time and time again whether they stood by the stage 3 tax cuts? It was because people never believed them. People had doubts about whether the commitment was genuine.

Sue Lines

Senator Henderson, I ask you to withdraw that comment.

Sarah Henderson

I withdraw.

Sue Lines

Thank you. I ask the chamber to listen in respectful silence.

Simon Birmingham

People didn't believe or trust the weasel words that were coming from those opposite. But, of course, they said them again and again: 'We stand by, we will honour, what was legislated. We have no plans to change.' Prime Minister Albanese was still saying those words just a few weeks ago, even when he knew that the government was limbering up to break its election promise—to break yet another election promise when it came to the taxes Australians pay. They'd already broken their promise when it came to changing taxes on superannuation and they had broken their promise again when it came to imposing taxes on transport. They've broken promises again and again, but this one they solemnly kept standing by. Ultimately, they chose to break it, and you can't help but think they always intended to break it; that Mr Albanese and all of his ministers said one thing before the last election while thinking, 'When we get the excuse, when we can create the opportunity, we're just going to trash this promise anyway.' That's because they never liked the reform.

What their approach demonstrates is the treachery, trickery and timidity of the Labor Party. It's the treachery of saying one thing pre-election and then doing the opposite thing afterwards. It's the treachery of saying it on more than a hundred occasions—that's for the Prime Minister and Treasurer alone—and then doing the opposite. It's the treachery of continuously reassuring the parliamentary chambers, the media and, through them, the Australian public that they would stand by this and then trashing it. The trickery in what Labor's doing is the real sleight of hand of these changes, which sees Labor pursuing tax changes that will give them $28 billion more in revenue over the years ahead.

So whilst they dress it up and want to focus on the small amount that Australians will receive relative to the huge amount by which they will be worse off—$8,000, the average Australian will be worse off by, under your government—they are giving a bandaid to the gaping wound in terms of household budgets in Australia. Then there is the timidity of a government that has completely abandoned income tax reform in this country—

Sue Lines

Senator Hughes! I've called you to order. As I was calling you to order, you continued to interject. I've called you to order twice already. Senator Birmingham, please continue.

Simon Birmingham

They are keeping the 37c-in-the-dollar tax bracket, rather than having it abolished, thereby ensuring that bracket creep remains an ongoing problem which would have been abolished. The real reform of these tax changes was to abolish that tax bracket and ensure that for the vast majority of working Australians bracket creep was a thing of the past. But thanks to the lies of the Albanese Labor government, thanks to their trickery—

Sue Lines

Senator Birmingham, please withdraw.

Simon Birmingham

I withdraw.

Sue Lines

Thank you.

Simon Birmingham

Thanks to the treachery of the Albanese Labor government, to the betrayal they have shown, they are keeping that bracket creep in place. They are out to grab more dollars for the long term that no doubt they will spend in typical Labor big-spending ways, and Australians will ultimately pay the price of this in terms of extra taxes in the future, a weaker economy, poorer productivity and the abandonment of reform for Australians. (Time expired)

Penny Wong

Do you know what this is all about, President? This is all about a distraction from the fact that they're about to roll over and vote for these tax cuts, because they know it's the right thing to do, and they're hoping no-one will notice that even the coalition knows that this is the right thing to do for the country. That is what this stunt is all about. It's not about cost of living. It's not about the tradies and the nurses and the schoolteachers, who will be better off under this tax package. It's about the opposition hoping that they can continue a political attack while Mr Dutton is standing up, as we speak, to say, 'Actually, we're going to fold on it.' I mean, what a joke they are! If they really thought this was—let me read this—'a betrayal' that 'killed reform' and 'trashed aspiration', if they really thought this was treachery, they would have the courage of their convictions and vote against it.

But you're not going to, are you? This is the little fiddly bit of outrage beforehand, because you know that this is the best thing for working Australians that is on the table. That is what is happening. You know that every taxpayer will get a tax cut under this package, and you know that 84 per cent—

Sue Lines

Senator Hughes, withdraw.

Hollie Hughes

I'm not sure what I'm withdrawing—

Sue Lines

Senator Hughes—

Hollie Hughes

I withdraw.

Sue Lines

I remind senators that when I ask you to withdraw I don't want the offensive word repeated. And Senator Hughes, I remind you that I've called you to order three or four times, and you continue to shout across the chamber. You are being disrespectful to my orders and disrespectful to the chamber. Minister Wong, please continue.

Penny Wong

If there was one point at which Senator Birmingham reminded us just how out of touch the Dutton opposition actually is it was when he talked about the 'small amount'. Well, he and his colleagues might have forgotten what it is like to be on an average wage. Maybe he and his colleagues haven't spoken to the people they profess to represent about the cost of living. They might not be aware of how important this tax change is for the many Australians who are struggling with the cost of living. What has been demonstrated here, again, is that the Dutton opposition only ever want to score political points and create division. Even when they are forced by the inexorable logic of economics to support our tax package, on the way through they have to engage in these sorts of political tactics because they have to have a hit.

I am reminded of the fact that Ms Sussan Ley has said, 'We'll roll the changes back.' It's gone very quiet over there, hasn't it? She said, 'We'll roll them back.' That's what she said. It's very quiet, isn't it? Is that the position still? Are you going to roll them back? Are you going to go to the next election with a roll-back policy? If you really thought all of the things that are in this pathetic motion, you would have the courage of your convictions to not only oppose the legislation when it comes to the chamber but go to the next election with your roll-back policy. But you know you won't.

Do you know why you won't? Because actually you know it's the right thing to do. That's the problem with your political position. You want to have a go at us for doing this, but you're going to vote for it. It's a fundamental problem with your political position, and you know it. You think making a lot of noise in this chamber and using a lot of words in this chamber are going to distract Australia's attention from the fact that you're backing in Anthony Albanese's tax cuts for working Australians. Fundamentally, you are having to back them in because you know they are the right thing to do.

You know that 100 per cent of Australian taxpayers will get a tax cut. You know that 84 per cent will get more of a tax cut. You know this will benefit people on average wages. This will benefit working families. This will benefit middle Australia. This will benefit teachers and nurses and emergency workers and police officers and tradespeople and so many more. You know that, we know that and the Australian people know that. And they know that this motion is just a political stunt to try and hide the fact that you do not have the courage of your convictions and that you, in your heart of hearts, know that the Prime Minister is right, the Treasurer is right and the finance minister is right, and that this is the right thing to do for the country and for the Australian people.

Nick McKim

The Australian Greens will not be supporting the motion that is currently before the chair. It's important that all senators and folks listening to this debate understand how we have got to where we are today. The Liberals when in government put in place a massively regressive tax package. They legislated it. It was regressive for a range of reasons, including the fact that it massively flattened out the income tax regime in this country. It was legislated because the Australian Labor Party gutlessly voted for it at the time. Now the Australian Labor Party has come with a proposal that will make this massively regressive tax plan—legislated because the Coles and Woolworths of Australian politics supported it in the last parliament—slightly less regressive. Let's be clear about that. Labor's proposal doesn't make Australia's tax system more progressive than it currently is; it simply ensures that after 1 July it will be less regressive than it otherwise would have been. The fact that it would have been massively regressive is on the shoulders of both the LNP and the ALP in this place.

What Labor could have done is, for example, come into this place with a package that meant that no high-income earners received a tax break, and they could have used the savings that that policy would have generated to improve much-needed social services in this country. For example, they could have used the savings to help put dental care into Medicare. We've had a massive celebration from Labor about 40 years of Medicare, and rightly so. It's a great social reform in this country. But, if Labor were serious about celebrating Medicare, it would do things like put dental and mental health into Medicare, because, last time I looked, the mouth and the brain were actually parts of the human body.

What we have seen is Labor quite rightly saying, 'When economic conditions change, so should government policy.' Big tick on that! I couldn't agree more. So let's talk about negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount. What those obscene taxpayer subsidies to property investors mean is that people who are currently renting in Australia, who are getting smashed by high rents and who desperately want to buy their first home are going into the market and being outbid by property investors because those property investors have pocketed—and will pocket into the future—massive subsidies from the public purse in the form of negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount. It is a grossly unfair and inequitable system, and it is stopping hundreds of thousands of young Australians fulfilling their dream of owning their first home because the property investors, many of whom are racking up their fifth, 10th, 20th or 100th investment property, have got those public subsidies in their pockets, ready to use to outbid young people, who are getting smashed in the rental market and who desperately want to be able to afford their own home.

Economic conditions change; so should government policy. The Labor Party should reform the negative gearing and capital gains tax policy settings to give young Australians a fair crack at buying their first home and not have so many young Australians being outbid by wealthy property investors who are able to outbid them because of the massive, obscene taxpayer subsidies that they get through negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount.

We won't be supporting this motion today for all of those reasons. In addition, the Liberals have got it listed as a matter of public importance for later on in the day. They'll get plenty of chance to have their say. So will we. So will the government. So will other crossbenchers. But, for now, let's just get on with the job of the Senate.

Long debate text truncated.

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AGAINST – Committees — Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee; Reference

Malcolm Roberts

I seek leave to make a one-minute statement.

Sue Lines

Leave is granted for one minute.

Malcolm Roberts

Unless it's amended, I will not be supporting this motion. Senator Green has decided to finish the year with a motion about extremism, notably only right-wing. Does her omission of the opera house Hamas rally that called for Jews to be gassed mean the senator is endorsing that call? Does her omission of environmental extremism that terrorised a female executive in her home mean the senator is endorsing that? Apparently so.

All terrorism is to be denounced. One Nation denounces the National Socialist party, the Nazis, who killed an estimated 20 million people. One Nation denounces communist Soviet Russia and the Stalin regime that killed an estimated 40 million people. We denounce communist China's Chairman Mao, who killed 60 million people. We denounce Maurice Strong, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program, whose unscientific ban on DDT caused the unnecessary deaths of 60 million people from malaria between 1976 and 2006. In this place terrorism and extremism should be dealt with in a bipartisan way.

Ralph Babet

I seek leave to make a short, one-minute, statement as well.

Leave not granted.

Sue Lines

The question is that the amendment as moved by Senator McGrath to business of the Senate notice of motion No. 4 be agreed to.

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AGAINST – Committees — Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee; Reference

Anne Urquhart

At the request of Senator Green, I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 6 December 2024:

Right wing extremist movements in Australia, with particular reference to:

(a) the nature and extent of movements and persons holding extremist right wing views in Australia, with a particular focus on:

(i) the threat posed by extremist movements, including right wing extremism,

(ii) the motivations, objectives and capacity for violence of extremist groups and individuals holding such views,

(iii) links between individuals and groups with international movements,

(iv) how individuals progress to committing acts of violence, and

(v) the role of the online environment in promoting extremism;

(b) the terms and operation of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill 2023;

(c) measures to counter violent extremism in Australia, with particular focus on young people; and

(d) any other related matters.

James McGrath

by leave—I move to amend the motion as follows:

Omit "Right wing extremist movements in Australia", substitute "Ideologically motivated and religiously motived violent extremism".

Paragraph (a), omit "extremist right wing views", substitute "violently extremist views".

Omit paragraph (a)(i), substitute:

(i) the threat posed by ideologically motivated violent extremism and religiously motivated violent extremism,

I seek leave to make a short statement, for no more than one minute, before the question on my amendment is put.

Leave not granted.

I seek leave to table my statement.

Sue Lines

Maybe, if you show the whips.

James McGrath

Pursuant to contingent notice of motion standing in the name of Senator Birmingham, I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me making a statement.

Sue Lines

I'll get some advice from the clerk, Senator McGrath. Just so we're all clear in the chamber: you were granted leave to put the amendment, and then you sought leave to make a one-minute statement. Leave wasn't given. Because we're in formal motions, there's no opportunity to speak, so we will put the suspension. Senator Birmingham?

Simon Birmingham

I have a point of order on two matters, Madam President. One is perhaps to try to help the Senate. My understanding is that convention has been that where an amendment is moved a senator is granted leave to make a short, one-minute statement in relation to the amendment. So I'd encourage the government to reconsider that.

In relation to the motion Senator McGrath just moved, he had sought leave to make a one-minute statement. Being denied that, and on the basis of that, he used contingent notice standing in my name to suspend standing orders so as to enable him to make the one-minute statement.

Sue Lines

Yes, and what I explained to the chamber, Senator Birmingham, as you'll recall, is that during formal motions, which is where we're up to, there's no opportunity to speak to a suspension. So you can suspend, but then we immediately put the suspension question. I understand there is no leave given to make a one-minute statement. Senator McGrath, you've moved a suspension. Senator Urquhart?

Anne Urquhart

I'm just trying to clarify what contingency notice we are actually talking about.

Sue Lines

When Senator Birmingham stood on his point of order, he explained—

Honourable senators interjecting—

Order across the chamber! Senator Birmingham explained that it was his contingency notice which was being used to enable Senator McGrath to suspend because he'd been denied leave around the one-minute statement. So the question is that the suspension motion, as moved by Senator McGrath, be agreed to.

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AGAINST – Committees — Education and Employment References Committee; Reference

Wendy Askew

():  At the request of Senator O'Sullivan, I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 2 July 2024:

The issue of stagnant and declining academic standards in Australian schools, with specific reference to:

(a) students' proficiency in literacy and numeracy, as tested through the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy test and other authoritative tests, such as the Program for International Student Assessment;

(b) how countries with high or markedly improving academic standards are achieving these results, the extent to which the experience of these countries can inform Australian schools, and how funding for students in Australia and other countries correlates with student performance and academic standards;

(c) evidence-based teaching practices and pedagogy (proven teaching methods), the extent to which proven teaching methods have been adopted in Australian schools, and how this has impacted on academic standards, particularly foundational skills in literacy and numeracy;

(d) the training, resources, funding and assistance available to teachers, including continuing professional development, to support the delivery of proven teaching methods;

(e) the effectiveness of current diagnostic tests and screening for skills in literacy and numeracy, including phonics and foundational maths, including the screening of students at school-entry;

(f) how relevant Australian state, territory and federal departments and agencies are working to address this growing challenge;

(g) the experience of principals, teachers and parents in meeting the challenge of raising academic standards in Australian schools particularly for socio-economically disadvantaged students and students in regional, rural and remote Australia;

(h) improvements that could be made to the Australian Curriculum to raise academic standards in Australian schools;

(i) the economic cost of stagnant and declining academic standards in Australian schools; and

(j) any other related matters.

Anthony Chisholm

():  I seek leave to make a short statement.

Sue Lines

Leave is granted for one minute.

Anthony Chisholm

The government will not be supporting this motion. The shadow minister for education accuses the government of being 'caught up in a vortex of education reviews' and now proposes one. We have done the reviews, we have the evidence and we know that under those opposite school attendance dropped, school completion rates dropped, and the gap between students from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who aren't got worse. Together with the states and territories we established a panel of experts to inform the next national school reform agreement. Next year we will negotiate that agreement and get on with the job of building a better and fairer education system for the country.

Penny Allman-Payne

():  I seek leave to make a short statement.

Sue Lines

Leave is granted for one minute.

Penny Allman-Payne

The Greens will also not support this motion. We have, like Senator Chisholm has said, had numerous reviews into this issue, including the coalition's own review in 2017 on exactly the same topic. We are awaiting the report of the expert panel. It is time to stop the reviews and get on with the job of funding and supporting our teachers and schools.

Sue Lines

The question is that business of the Senate notice of motion No. 3, standing in the name of Senator O'Sullivan and moved by Senator Askew, be agreed to.

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