Doorstop with the Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash
Subjects: ABCC Legislation; Labor's plans to increase capital gains tax.
Last night, the Senate demonstrated that it can work. The ABCC legislation, the legislation which we passed last year to restore the rule of law to the construction sector, has been improved by another amendment.
What it's done is taken a good Bill, a good law, and made it even better. It's an example of the way in which the Minister, Michaelia Cash, and the Senate team are working with the crossbench to ensure that the 45th Parliament, as we promised, will deliver.
MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT:
Thank you, Prime Minister. Yes, last night it was a significant win for the Australian people, but in particular the building and construction industry. The Senate, with the support of the crossbench, passed an amendment to the double dissolution bill that was passed last year. It effectively means the ABCC is back and it is restored in full.
Last night we amended the transitional period from 24 months down to nine months but more importantly, every company, regardless of who you are or how big you are, if you wish to be awarded government-funded building work, you must be code-compliant.
This is a significant win in particular for the small and medium players within the building industry. But as I said, more particularly for the Australian people. This is our third largest employer. It employs over a million Australians. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses are supported by the building and construction industry. Everything this Government does is to ensure that industries such as the building and construction industry, continue to prosper and continue to grow. Because when these industries prosper and grow, those employers create more jobs. And that's what this Government, the Turnbull Government, is all about.
Thank you, Michaelia. Small and medium businesses will be the biggest beneficiaries of this amendment. This is making good legislation even better, backing investment, employment and the jobs that all Australians need.
Are you planning a crackdown on the capital gains tax concessions for property investors?
The only party that is an advocate of higher taxes is the Labor Party. I might say, not content with that, they're also an advocate of higher deficits and higher debt. So we're a party of lower taxes, supporting investment, supporting employment and bringing the budget back into balance.
Are you ruling out any tax increases and specifically on capital gains tax?
We do not support the Labor Party's plans to increase capital gains tax or indeed their plans to outlaw negative gearing. Our policies, as Michaelia has just said, every one of them, every aspect of them, are focused on encouraging investment and employment and the economic growth and opportunity that Australians need.
The Labor Party, remember, has already got an energy policy that will devastate Australian businesses, and impose even higher energy bills on Australian policies. And if you want to know how that looks, what that will look like, you don't have to theorise. You don't need Access Economics. You don't need a wizard to model it. Just look at South Australia. That's what the Labor Party has done.
Will you break up the omnibus into more manageable chunks and actually get some of it passed?
Look, as Michaelia has described, we work with the Senate the Australian people have elected. We will always negotiate, but we negotiate with the senators. We don't negotiate in public and on that note we must love you and leave you. Thank you very much.
MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT: