Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:01): I was about to say—
Mr Champion interjecting—
Mr TONY SMITH: It sounds like the member opposite has not finished his contribution.
Mr Champion interjecting—
The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Whiteley ): Order!
Mr TONY SMITH: I know the member opposite gets very excited. I was about to say to the member opposite that, in debating terms, it is always good to follow him, but then I realised that it is so rare that he is here after question time on a Thursday. But it is very interesting that the conduct of this debate has once again displayed the hypocrisy of those opposite. It is very interesting who is here and who is not, and I will tell you why. We have obviously seen this week what those opposite really think of each other, courtesy of the ABC.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (15:50): Well, it is budget day and, like budget day last year, we have just seen another insubstantial performance from those opposite. The Leader of the Opposition proposed his matter of public importance on the standard of living and barely mentioned it. The member for Canberra did talk about the subject briefly. But then particularly the last speaker, like all their members, did not address the topic of their own matter of public importance. Instead he came in here to practise his lines in some sort of vain competition with those behind him.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:34): On Monday, 4 May I was pleased to visit Ormond College at the University of Melbourne to meet a number of dedicated students as part of the college's Pitch Project. The Pitch Project enables teams of Ormond students to pitch a policy proposal to federal or state members of parliament. This group of students worked over many weeks on a pilot program to assist people to start up a small business. It was focused on young people. They focused on an area of my electorate, the Upper Yarra Valley.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:02): I rise this afternoon to recognise the outstanding work of a young volunteer in the Casey electorate, and that is Prue Northey from Mount Evelyn. In 2010, Prue joined Yarra Ranges Relay for Life as a volunteer committee member, after participating in the event for many years. As she told the local paper earlier this year, her interest started after her cousin died from cancer at the age of 19, and so she went along to the Relay for Life committee and asked how she could become involved.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (17:20): As always, I welcome the opportunity to follow the shadow Assistant Treasurer. I am chuffed that he has decided to stay for my contribution. It has rather made my day. He has asked a number of questions, which I will come to in a second. I am more than happy to answer the questions that continue to confound him. I would like him to end this day without any questions in his mind. The member for Fraser said a lot of things, but what he did not say revealed a lot as well. What he did not say was how much the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 3) Bill 2015 was saving the forward estimates and the reason why the two schedules in this bill have been moved.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:57): It is my pleasure to speak on this legislation that has such importance about it. We are here today passing this legislation to rectify the damage that was done six years ago in Labor's budget. I will not take up the time of the House to go through each and every measure in this bill; the previous speaker read out most of the explanatory memorandum. The minister outlined the importance of the main changes around options, eligible start-ups and deferral periods.
But we do need to go to the history of this issue—why we are here today and why this is such an important day on employee share ownership for the start-up sector in particular. Those opposite say they believe in employee share ownership. I would say to them: to have credibility, they should acknowledge they made a monumental mistake six years ago—that is what they should do—and not engage in political point-scoring.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (17:27): It is a pleasure to speak on the Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Measures No. 1) Bill 2015 that is of so much benefit to small business. I will deal with some of the measures within this package of bills that is coming alongside these shortly. But I cannot resist starting where the member for Chifley left off. The member for Chifley gave the parliament a lecture on the importance of start-ups, and we wholeheartedly agree start-ups are important. I know the member for Chifley pretty well. The member for Chifley follows these issues closely. But the member for Chifley, unfortunately, airbrushed away some of Labor's history. He lectured this side of the parliament on start-ups when it was his side of the parliament that did all they could to stop the start-up sector with respect to employee share ownership. I say to the member for Chifley you were—
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:37): On Saturday I was pleased to attend the annual thanksgiving day breakfast hosted by the Mayor of the Yarra Ranges Council, Councillor Maria McCarthy. The breakfast was a wonderful opportunity to thank eight outstanding community contributors, people who do so much for the Yarra Ranges and Yarra Valley community.
It is truly a special honour to be chosen by you as Speaker, and especially so to be chosen unanimously.
To have the unanimous support of the House is not just a welcome endorsement; it is an important reminder that I am Speaker not only of the House of Representatives but also for the House of Representatives—that is, for you, the members of the House of Representatives.
I am always mindful of that as I discharge my duties—I was in the last parliament and I will be in this one as well.
Tony provided invaluable advice and was more than willing to assist me when I had an issue with a Federal Government agency. He has always worked hard for the residents of Casey and is a strong voice for our community.
Annette Van Der HoekChirnside Park
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