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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Speech ADJOURNMENT Western Australia Senate Election Tuesday, 18 March 2014 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (21:00): The Senate election in Western Australia is of prime importance not just to the nation but to Western Australia. Over the years, successive Australian governments have relied on the wealth generation capacity of Western Australia to carry the nation on its back. There has always been the assumption that Western Australia can manage, that ‘they’ll be right’. But things in Western Australia are not right. The mining tax has destroyed the investment and prosperity that Western Australia once enjoyed, and the carbon tax has pushed the cost of electricity up to the stage where the average family in Perth cannot manage their household budget. Despite all of that, Western Australia still does not receive the GST receipts it should be entitled to. How long will it be until Western Australians get a fair share? How long will it be until the state governments and the Australian government correct the injustice and allow Western Australians to receive their fair share of GST? Unemployment is increasing, living standards are declining and people’s lives are getting worse, not better. It has now been six months since the government was sworn in and it has still not been able to get the mining tax and the carbon tax repealed in the Senate. These taxes should have been repealed from the day the government was elected—from the day the Australian people voted overwhelmingly for them to be abolished. Labor and the Greens have blocked the repeal in the Senate, and the government remains impotent to do anything about it. The government cannot do it; they cannot remove the carbon and mining taxes. The Greens and Labor will not allow them to do it—they are the nay-sayers who gave us the mining tax and the carbon tax and brought to Australia a government that wreaked havoc on our economy. The fact of the matter is that only the senators who control the balance of power in the Senate after the next Senate election and their alliance can remove the mining and carbon taxes and set Australia on the right path. The Senate election will not change anything in Western Australia. We know who the Prime Minister is; we know who the Leader of the Opposition is. But the Western Australian election is an opportunity for Western Australians to join the balance of power in the Senate. If Senate candidates elected at that election are elected in Western Australia they will be able to join the balance of power in the Senate and make sure the mining tax and the carbon tax are repealed. The Western Australian economy needs more jobs and investment. Now is not the time for the government not to follow through on its commitment to Western Australia. All Australians, wherever they live, owe a debt of gratitude to the people of Western Australia for all they have done for this country. I have a strong personal commitment to Western Australia, having worked and lived in the Pilbara for many years. I was successful in capturing billions of dollars that have now been invested in Western Australia creating many thousands of jobs in the state—investment which created a new port at Cape Preston and one of Australia’s largest industrial enterprises. Western Australians are not afraid of hard work or a challenge but, if the government fails to act, they cannot accept that they should be forever sentenced to a lesser role because their politicians do not live in Sydney or Melbourne. What about them? It is just not fair that Western Australia is not treated fairly and that it is burdened with the carbon and mining taxes; that Western Australia is taken for granted in the good times and forgotten when the times get tough. Western Australia deserves to be in the balance of power in the Senate. Only then can Western Australia make the politicians who rule this country from Sydney and Melbourne take notice of their fair demands. 76 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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