The (still) Acting Assistant Treasurer Mathias Cormann has confirmed a Government go-slow on implementing an election commitment to lower the threshold for review of investments in agricultural land.
A Senate Estimates Committee has heard that more than 12 months after the 2013 election the Abbott Government has no timetable for implementing this key election promise.
Coalition disunity was on display this morning as National Party Senator Matthew Canavan tried in vain to extract any timetable from Senator Cormann on when the Government would honour its commitment.
The confrontation between Senator Canavan and Senator Cormann exposed the divisions between the Liberal and National Parties over the Abbott Governments ill-considered commitment to impose new layers of red tape on investment in agriculture in Australia.
The go-slow was confirmed with evidence that Treasury didnt commence formal consultation with the states until June 2014, no drafting instructions for legislation have been issued, and no implementation date has been set.
Having already rolled the National Party on petrol tax and paid parental leave, its little wonder Liberal MPs are treating their junior Coalition partners as mugs on investment thresholds too.
This division leads to poor outcomes for the agriculture sector which has suffered over 15 months of policy inertia at a time when it should be capitalising on the opportunities of the future.
FRIDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2014
Joint Media Release
Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment, Labor Senator for South Australia
The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Spokesperson for Country Caucus, Member for Hunter