Wong and McAllister Media Release: Turnbull Chaos - No Plan for Schools, Hospitals or The Federation
3.30pm | April 27, 2016
SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT
LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
CHAIR, FINANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFERENCES COMMITTEE
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
TURNBULL CHAOS – NO PLAN FOR SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, OR THE FEDERATION
Senior officials confirmed today that chaos and division at the heart of the Turnbull Government sabotaged outcomes from the 1 April COAG meeting and has driven a stake through the heart of Federation reform.
Officials from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Treasury gave evidence that Malcolm Turnbull had been contemplating a plan for double taxation for months before the meeting – but didn’t bother to tell the states and territories, or even his own department.
In an extraordinary revelation, officials confirmed that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet only became aware of Mr Turnbull’s decision to discuss the plan with First Ministers at COAG when Malcolm Turnbull announced it in a football oval in western Sydney two days before the meeting.
Premiers and Chief Ministers were expected to interpret Mr Turnbull’s verbal meanderings in conversations in the lead up to the meeting.
No double tax plan – a plan to allow states and territories to levy income taxes in addition to federal income tax – was presented to First Ministers before the meeting or included in the COAG meeting papers.
Officials also confirmed that Mr Turnbull’s proposal would allow the states and territories to increase income taxes in the future – directly contradicting Scott Morrison and showing he has been kept out of the loop on another Turnbull plan.
Federation reform is officially dead under Mr Turnbull with officials confirming that the Federation White Paper has been junked. This is the latest in a long line of pre-election promises junked by the Coalition. Worse, it sends a signal that efforts to make the Federation work more effectively and efficiently are at an end.
Mr Turnbull might think that a functioning Federation is “beside the point”, but he’s wrong.
Australia needs a Prime Minister and a Government that is prepared to work with the states and territories in the national interest.
Australia needs a Shorten Labor Government.
Officials appeared before the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee as part of its inquiry into the outcomes of the 1 April 2016 meeting of the Council of Australian Governments.
WEDNESDAY, 27 APRIL 2016
MEDIA CONTACT:ANNIE WILLIAMS 0428 040 522 (WONG)
KATE LEE 0466 776 160 (MCALLISTER)