GST

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:57 :28 ): My question is to the Minister for Police, Correctional Services, Emergency Services and Road Safety. Minister, do you support the Premier's policy of increasing the GST to 15 per cent?

The Hon. K.J. Maher: Didn't you ask that question yesterday?

The PRESIDENT: The honourable Leader of the Opposition is—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! The Leader of the Opposition is asking a different minister the same question. Minister.

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 14:58 :09 ): I thank the Leader of the Opposition in this place for the opportunity to answer an important question. I wholeheartedly support the Premier.

The Premier of South Australia has been left with a diabolical circumstance by the honourable member's federal colleagues. The Leader of the Opposition went to the last federal election making a clear unconditional promise that they would not be making any cuts to health and they would not be making any cuts to education, yet only a short period after that we find ourselves faced with the situation where over $80 billion worth of cuts have been made by this federal government to health and education which have left this state with an enormous challenge.

I am a Labor man, which means that I believe in the concept of universal health care, which means that I believe that education is the great enabler in lifting people up out of the working class and into the middle class, and which means I believe in adequately funding education. So, I am very proud of the fact that we have a premier in this state who is not willing to squib challenges and is willing to actually seriously contemplate whatever is necessary to ensure that we do have the adequate health and education funding that this state desperately needs and which the people of South Australia most desperately want.

So, in answer to the member's question, I wholeheartedly support having a premier who is serious about debate, who is serious about showing leadership, which I think stands in stark contrast to the Prime Minister of Australia, who was happy to undermine an existing prime minister by talking about things like climate change, by talking about things like same-sex marriage, by talking about health and education funding, but as soon as he is put in a precarious position or it puts a bit of blowback on him, he squibs, whether it be the republic, same-sex marriage, climate change or, now, health and education funding. We have a Prime Minister who squibs and baulks at challenge, whereas in South Australia we are blessed to have a leader who is serious about tackling those challenges head on.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 15:00 :28 ): We know you support the Premier, he gave you this job. My question was: do you support the GST being raised to 15 per cent?

An honourable member interjecting:

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: It was.

An honourable member interjecting:

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Do you want to answer every question?

The PRESIDENT: Minister.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: I asked a supplementary question.

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 15:00 :47 ): I stand by my previous answer. I support having a premier who is willing to tackle the challenges—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS: —that are brought before him.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 15:00 :55 ): Further supplementary.

The PRESIDENT: You can have a further supplementary, but I expect a little bit of decorum on this side of the bench. You are asking this question; let him answer it in silence. Go ahead.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Do you support the Premier's policy of increasing the GST to 15 per cent—a very simple question, Mr President.

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 15:01 :15 ): A very simple question that has a very simple answer. I support having a premier of this state who takes on the challenges that are brought before him. I support having a premier who wants to make sure that health and education funding in this state stack up.

 

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