InDaily

Adelaide's independent news

Support

Liberal veteran sounds land tax alarm as Labor flags backing Bill

Politics

A former Liberal MP has raised a dire land tax warning in a face-to-face meeting with Treasurer Rob Lucas after attending a Labor forum on the looming legislative shake-up, with parliament set to start debating the changes next week.

Print article

Michael Pratt, a prominent Liberal figure who held the federal seat of Adelaide in the late-‘80s, has been a vocal opponent of the Marshall Government’s aggregation crackdown, and met with Lucas after attending one of three public forums run by Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas.

“I’ve never seen so many Liberals at a Labor function,” Pratt told InDaily.

“I want Marshall to lead a two-term Government, but I had to let [Lucas] know the anger in the community and the pressure on marginal seats… I know where this is heading.”

But he also argued the mood of historically Liberal-backing attendees was such that the Labor Party had painted itself into a corner on the contentious legislation.

“Malinauskas and Labor have worked the mood of the electorate that well that they cannot support this [legislation],” he said.

“The forums that they have run have wedged them into making a decision.”

Crossbenchers John Darley and Frank Pangallo also attended the forum at Goodwood earlier this week, telling attendees if Labor opposed the legislation they would kill it off in the Upper House.

But Malinauskas was equivocal today, telling InDaily “there are a number of variables that need to be taken into consideration as we consider this Bill”.

“We’ve had a number of these forums now and the frustration and disappointment at the way the Liberal Party have announced this policy is palpable,” he said.

“But what interests me more is understanding what the real life implications will be of this tax passing or failing.”

However, he added, “to the best of my knowledge Labor hasn’t opposed a money Bill of this nature in the Upper House”.

“There are people who have been making that point, so there are a number of variables that need to be taken into account,” he said.

But he noted the Liberal Party had “created the precedent” by opposing two of the former Labor government’s budget measures – a car park tax and a bank tax.

Lucas told InDaily his “characterisation” of his lunch meeting with Pratt was that “he wanted to give me the Labor Party’s position”.

“I understand they made no commitment in relation to their position,” he said, adding: “I’m well aware of the various people who have been prominent in their criticism of the Government’s position.”

The Treasurer confirmed debate on the final version of the Bill will begin next week – which should force Labor to clarify their position on the legislation.

But if the Opposition seeks to move significant amendments, Lucas has warned he will withdraw the Bill or put it to a decisive vote.

“One way or another, we wouldn’t proceed with it,” he said.

“The Government won’t be supporting a committee or delaying [the implementation] for 12 months or two years…

“The decision will either be taken to implement [the changes] from 1 July, or not – we’re not going to take a decision that has it hanging around for two years.”

Want to comment?

Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.

We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.

We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.

InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.

Powered by PressPatron

More Politics stories

Loading next article

Subscribe to InDaily – it’s free!

South Australia’s locally owned, independent source of digital news.

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 Foodland voucher!

Subscribe free here

*Terms and conditions apply

Welcome back!

Did you know it’s FREE to subscribe?

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!

Subscribe

*Terms and conditions apply