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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 404 asked in the Legislative Council on 7 May 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

FRINGE BENEFITS TAX — REGIONAL TOWNS

404. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the Minister for Regional Development:

I refer to the cancerous fringe benefits tax imposed by Canberra, affecting regional towns.

(1) Is the government serious about encouraging mine workers and their families to return to regional towns?

(2) Is the government aware of the damage done by the fringe benefits tax to regional towns?

(3) What steps has the government taken to persuade the federal government or the federal opposition to commit to cancelling the unfair fringe benefits tax, which artificially encourages fly in, fly out at the expense of regional towns?

(4) Is the minister aware that Pauline Hanson's One Nation WA is committed to removing the burden of fringe benefits tax from the mining, pastoral and related industries?

The PRESIDENT: Minister for Regional Development, I think the last part of the question is probably out. I do not think you can respond to that one.

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I have been following with great interest the travails of One Nation in the federal election. I have seen some very interesting footage of candidates for that party.

(1)–(4) We have made a commitment to provide a submission to the Productivity Commission's current inquiry into remote area tax concessions and payments. We think there are issues that really need to be teased out. I note that there are some positive developments that obviously we are encouraging. We have committed to 30 000 extra new jobs in the regions, and that is certainly a target that we seek to fulfil by 2023–24. We note BHP's recent announcement that it is now looking at drive in, drive out employment options for its Eastern Ridge and Jimblebar operations, east of Newman. We are also very encouraged from our discussions with Fortescue Metals Group that it is looking at drive in, drive out options for its Iron Bridge project. We also note that the potential Perdaman project is very much committed to act in the way that Yara Pilbara Fertilisers does—that is, having the vast majority of its staff located in the region.