Mr PEDERICK ( Hammond ) ( 15:47 :46 ): I rise to speak to the Budget Measures Bill 2014, and I indicate to the Deputy Speaker that I am definitely not the lead speaker on this bill.
The Hon. S.W. Key interjecting:
Mr PEDERICK: I know that's sad, but we will keep struggling on. This is a bill that coincides with the Appropriation Bill which we have just been debating in this place, and this is the bill which brings in some insidious taxes to our state to prop up the Labor government's failed budgetary measures and outcomes, especially after the preceding 12 years of economic mismanagement.
One of the main factors in this Budget Measures Bill is what the government is calling the transport development levy, but in plain English (and it is a lot easier for Hansard to write down) it is 'car park tax'. The car park tax is going to inflict on our car parks in the City of Adelaide an annual fee of $750 which then will be indexed at the consumer price index for the ongoing future, if it manages to get past this house and if it goes through another place.
I sincerely hope this tax does not go through. We have been loud and vocal in our opposition on this side of the house to the car park tax. It is a disgraceful tax and it will be very destructive to business opportunities in the city. In fact, I am sure that there are many business owners who are just absolutely petrified of this tax coming in. There has already been, I think, a KPMG report that indicates that it will have an economic downturn impact of $12 million on the local economy in the City of Adelaide.
The reason for that is that people find a way not to park at places that are expensive. That has already been proven when parking fees were introduced down at West Lakes. I know that for a fact because I have family who live down on the Lefevre Peninsula and they will drive to the other side of Adelaide to go shopping because they do not want to pay a car park fee. This will have the same impact in the city as happened down at West Lakes. People will refuse to come into the city. It is just a simple fact that the Labor Party has not worked out.
The Hon. T.R. Kenyon: They already pay parking.
Mr PEDERICK: The member for Newland indicates that they already pay parking. I can assure the member for Newland that they already hate the amount they are paying for parking. The people from the good areas of the regions, including the seat of Hammond, are already paying very large parking fees, and if you do not pay them and you get caught parking on the street, you pay quite significant parking fines.
The issue is that people are finding a way to do their business and do their shopping anywhere but Adelaide. People are already doing that, and now, with this extra impost, people will just vacate and I fear that it will put businesses out of business especially in the Rundle Mall area. Business is already struggling in this state. We know that we are the state with the highest fees and charges and yet, here we go again. We will find a way to tax the poor citizens of the state. It is another measure to extract tax from the overtaxed public of South Australia.
We are seeing regional areas get more services; there are already a lot more services that people can access in Murray Bridge. A lot more shopping has opened up and there are a lot of small businesses that people can deal with locally and if they cannot access the exact services they want there, they can travel to Mount Barker and get a lot of their shopping or business needs attended to. This is just another tax to keep people out of the city.
The government will not get it because it thinks that the way out of a budget is to tax, tax, tax. That coincides with another part of the Budget Measures Bill, which is the fun tax. It is the special events tax which the transport minister is putting in place. It is for events where an event manager might decide that he thinks there are 5,000 people coming along and he has to notify the minister, I think, within as close as possible to a six-month time frame, and if he cannot do that, he has to do it as soon as he can.
Here we have a tax to tax the people to drive into the city and then if you want to get on public transport—which this government has been advocating for long and hard, but it does not realise the shortcomings of public transport in this state—the government is going to tax that as well. So, what do you want? Perhaps Stephen Yarwood will realise his vision and have everyone on bikes. I certainly cannot see the good people of Hammond riding all the way into Adelaide on their pushbikes, but that is where we are heading to. This is just crazy stuff.
This events tax is the fun tax. I was at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday, sadly to see, as I mentioned in the house the other day, the Power lose. Events like the football, concerts or the cricket in Adelaide—the supposition behind bringing all the sport into one venue was so that people could enjoy themselves and enjoy the so-called vibrancy of Adelaide.
We have already learned, through what happens on game days, that a lot of businesses do not even open up for meals because of penalty rates and other costs inflicted on them for running a business. Business owners cannot seem to get the message through to the Labor Party that it is just unviable for their businesses to open, whether it is for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, on a game day on a public holiday. There are plenty of business owners who are saying, 'If we open up and we only manage to get $300 return, it's not worth opening the door.'
Especially with regard to the Adelaide Oval, we have a venue that can seat over 50,000 people, yet we are going to tax everyone to come in and park. If you come in on public transport, you get taxed anyway. As I said, if you happen to ride a bike, I do not anticipate you are going to come from any further than a few kilometres. This will have a great effect, especially on regional people in this state. These are draconian measures. The car park tax, combined with the fun tax, will just be another turn-off for people attending events.
It is no secret that the AFL, with regard to football, is promoting football for as many nights or days as they can over an extended weekend. They want to have football played on Thursday nights through to Monday nights. That is because it seems that the emphasis is not so much on filling grounds—I am sure they would still like to see grounds filled, and there has been a bit of backlash, especially against Monday night games, some Sunday night games and even Thursday night games. It is still the Friday night and Saturday games that I think are the most well attended. However, the AFL is into the billions with its TV rights.
It is not very hard to make an excuse to sit at home and say, 'I am just getting taxed if I get in my car. I am getting taxed if I go on the bus, the train or the tram. I can just stay home, have the fire going'—next to the fridge if you want a light refreshment, and enjoy the football in the ambience of your lounge room.
The Hon. T.R. Kenyon: What?
Mr PEDERICK: That's the option, member for Newland. He may laugh, but it is pretty easy for people to vote with their feet with something like this. In regard to other matters in the Budget Measures Bill, it also talks about the royalty rates on extractive minerals. This is essentially rubble pits and the like. This is going up from 35¢ a tonne to 55¢ a tonne. After talking to a couple of people in the local community at the football over the last couple of weeks, they are already getting the notices and it is causing quite an impact. It is a huge increase on their extractive royalty and now they have to factor that in for the rates that they charge for those metals when they leave the property. Once again, it is a greater tax burden on the good people of our community.
We have a lot of problems with the Budget Measures Bill. I will be very interested to see whether it does get out of this place. It will be interesting to see how the member for Waite and the member for Frome vote in regards to this bill. I assume they will run with the government because it is a money bill, and they will be firmly wedded to the government, as they now are.
When I think it will get interesting is when this bill gets debated in the other place. Quite frankly, I think the government will have difficulties at least getting some of these measures through the parliament because they are draconian, they are retrograde and all they are doing is impacting on the good citizens of this state who already, as part of the Appropriation Bill, are being belted with an emergency services levy rise that, over four years, will raise over $330 million extra for the state coffers.
As mentioned earlier in this place, this is going to have a huge impact on our regional communities, with it essentially being a land tax on farmers. We will see some people, because they have quite successful operations and have been operating for generations, all of a sudden having emergency services levy accounts of over $1,000.
For that, what do we get? We get the bodies of fire vehicles put together on Isuzu trucks in New Zealand. We have a government that, with these extra hundreds of millions of dollars that they will be raking in from the emergency services levy, cannot even support local business. It is outrageous that they have to bring in vehicles from New Zealand when we have perfectly good fire truck-body builders in this state and in my electorate.
The Hon. J.M. Rankine: What are defence doing?
Mr PEDERICK: This is a state issue.
The Hon. J.M. Rankine: The defence industry?
Mr PEDERICK: Alright; okay.
The Hon. J.M. Rankine: What are defence doing?
Mr PEDERICK: The member for Wright is challenging me on what the defence industry is doing. I will refer to the defence industry for a little while, if I may. My brother works in the defence industry. He was a warrant officer in the Army. He served for 23 years and is a loyal man, unlike some. He served in Iraq and served in Rwanda. Since leaving the industry, he has joined up with General Dynamics in the north of Adelaide, and he rebuilds ASLAV armoured vehicles. These are eight-wheeled armoured vehicles that are sometimes repatriated from either Afghanistan, at the moment, or Iraq. They have got plenty of work with these defence vehicles. There are opportunities for defence, and I implore the state government to explore these opportunities in the future as potential options for the Holden plant. I think there are some great options there for defence into the future.
The Hon. S.C. Mullighan interjecting:
Mr PEDERICK: I note the interjection, 'There are great options for Holden.'
The Hon. S.C. Mullighan: There were great options for Holden.
Mr PEDERICK: 'There were great options for Holden.' Thank you, Minister for Transport. There were great options for Holden. Holdens are great vehicles. I have a 1989 model V8 ute sitting in my shed at home that does not come out often enough. Be that as it may, Detroit made a decision, and when they made the decision, the Labor Party needed to understand that what they said was, 'It would not have mattered how much money was thrown'—
The Hon. S.C. Mullighan interjecting:
Mr PEDERICK: —this is a fact, so don't mislead the house—'we were going to leave the state'.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I remind members that it is out of order to interject and that it is also out of order to respond to interjections.
Mr PEDERICK: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for your protection. People really need to check the facts on what is happening because, when you have a multinational company that says it does not matter how many billions are put into an operation, it is just not going to happen, I think you need to listen to the chiefs in Detroit to see what is really happening. I have digressed, Madam Deputy Speaker, and I thank you for that. Getting back to the Budget Measures Bill in the little bit of time I have left, these are regressive measures. The car park tax is an absolutely disgraceful measure which will put a lot of people out of business, and I say that sincerely. People will find a way not to use those parks and, as I said earlier, people are already doing it at shopping centres in the urban suburbs. They drive 20 or 30 kilometres to shop elsewhere because it is just too hard. If you go to a movie and you overstay the time, you are instantly paying for high-parking fees, so the government needs to have a look at that. Then there is the fun tax. We have a government that carries on about public transport, forgetting that 97 per cent of the state does not have public transport and access into the city—and it is probably higher than that. I would love to have public transport out to Murray Bridge and Goolwa in my electorate but it is not Metro-funded public-ticketed transport. People in my electorate do not get the benefits of getting on heavily subsidised Metroticketed public transport, and that is a fact, and people in my electorate are crying out for that access. I know that the Minister for Transport, on the radio—
The Hon. S.C. Mullighan interjecting:
Mr PEDERICK: Madam Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have asked the minister to refrain from interjecting and you just need to ignore him completely.
Mr PEDERICK: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have already done it once—just ignore him.
Mr PEDERICK: The transport minister was on the radio the other day claiming that the fun tax had to be implemented in order to make public transport viable. It has never been viable as it is subsidised at about 85 per cent from public funding. To say that you could put on a tax to make it viable—well, I am not going to wish them to tax it to make it viable, because that would need a ridiculous amount of funding.6
The Minister also talked about the LinkSA services. Yes, they do have services out in my electorate, but they are not at Metro-ticketed rates. I want to see proper public transport reach further out into my electorate so that some of the ministers in the Labor government can see the full effect of what it really costs to get proper Metro-ticketed services to the regions so that people can access the city, whether it be for education, work, their pleasure or leisure.