BILLS Appropriation Bill No. 1 2011-2012 Consideration in Detail

Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (12:39): For some time there has been concern in the community about what we will do to ensure that the wealth generated by the mining sector will be distributed through the community to provide us with long-term benefit. In terms of the minerals resource rent tax, there have been different models floated—for example, the idea of putting forward this sovereign wealth fund as a way of locking up the wealth that is generated through the mining boom, as opposed to what we are planning to do through the MRRT, particularly in terms of what we will be able to with respect to funding the increase of the SGC from nine to 12 per cent. This will provide an even greater pool of investment funds for business to tap into and a long-term basis for wealth generation through higher returns. This will ensure that people who retire in the years to come, and the generations that follow us, will be able to have a sustainable income in the years to come. Small businesses will be able to tap into asset write-offs through what we are flagging. I note in particular that a small business owner in my electorate told me the breakdown of his refrigeration equipment would impact on him severely and he would have to take a dent in his cash-flow to replace it. These are some of the things we can fund through the MRRT that we would not be able to do through a sovereign wealth fund. This model will provide something sustainable for the future of this country, and I see that we are now close to being able to bring it to fruition. But, even at this late stage, there are people speculating in the media about the design of the MRRT. Minister, even in the last 24 hours people have been making comment on the design of the tax. I am wondering whether you are able to update us on some of the comments and opinions that have been advanced on what I think will fundamentally be a key economic reform for this country.

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley


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