In Parliament

Motion: 1 Day Adjournment: State Tax



Tuesday, 14 May 2024.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (11:23):

I am absolutely outraged that the Treasurer would walk into this Chamber, introduce a Bill that increases tax – two new taxes, I understand, there could be more; we have only just been handed the Bill – and they have done it immediately.

They have moved these taxes and proposed to guillotine the Bill tomorrow. They have proposed to stop any debate by tomorrow. It is absolutely outrageous. We are outraged of behalf of Victorians. What we know already about this Bill is that it will increase the waste levy by 30 per cent. On top of that, the Government has not consulted with anybody. It has not consulted on new taxes that are being foisted upon Victorians, and these taxes will seriously hurt business.

The second measure, the fire services levy, is a combined take, I understand, of a billion dollars. This Bill will hurt people, this Bill will hurt businesses, and the Treasurer has just stood up and said he wants to ram it through this Chamber. I am not surprised he wants to ram it through this chamber. Of course he does, because he does not want the community to know about it. He does not want the community to consider it, and he certainly does not want non-Government Members to shine the light that is deserved on this pernicious Bill and what it does.

The other element this Bill goes to I can only just speak briefly about because I have just been handed the Bill. I have only just been handed the Bill, but this is going to go straight to the heart of the non-Government school tax that the Government introduced last year – a tax on children.

It is one of the most shameful things this Government in my view has ever done – to introduce a tax on non-Government schools and tax children. Schools now are effectively paying the state to teach children. We know they are doing an incredible job, and because this Government have run out of money, they have introduced a tax, which hurts schools and which hurts, absolutely, the hip pocket. We know the impact of those taxes not only on non-Government schools but on religious schools. We know many religious schools provide services and education to kids who cannot afford them. I know that there are near my community many Jewish schools that provide services to people who cannot afford them, and this tax goes directly to how many children can be taught. This tax absolutely undermines the good work they do.

The Coalition will not stand for a Bill which partly closes what the Government calls ‘loopholes’ around this new school tax. Who knows how many of the Members on the other side of the place are even aware that that is what this Bill does. This goes straight to the non-Government school tax again. And the Government and the Treasurer walk into this Chamber and say, ‘We’re going to introduce a billion dollars of new taxes. We’re not going to show anyone the Bill. We’re going to give you 24 hours effectively.’ We are going to have 24 hours. We can have a short time of debate tomorrow, because they have already confirmed no debate on it today.

Michael O’Brien interjected.

James NEWBURY: A short debate tomorrow, Member for Malvern, and they will ram this Bill and ram these new taxes through. It is absolutely outrageous. And to think the Bill also closes loopholes in relation to the non-Government schools is absolutely shameful.

There is no wonder in my mind that the Government want to ram this Bill through this place; of course they do. But they need to be called out for it, and every single member that votes to allow this should be condemned for allowing the Government to guillotine and ram through a Bill so pernicious – but a Bill that also introduces a billion dollars of new taxes. This is an outrageous proposition.