Abbott hoses down tropical tax zone plan

07 Feb, 2013 08:24 AM
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

TONY Abbott has played down a leaked discussion paper which reveals Coalition plans to create a new economic zone in northern Australia and to move thousands of public sector jobs to north of the Tropic of Capricorn.

''It's not our policy,'' Mr Abbott said. ''It's a draft discussion paper which had a reasonably wide circulation and obviously someone's decided to share it with the media.

''We certainly have no plans and it would be unconstitutional to civilly conscript public servants."

While reiterating he could not force public servants to move from one state to another, Mr Abbott said: ''It's not a bad thing to have Commonwealth facilities in different parts of Australia''.

''One of the factors in the very extensive development of the north we've seen in the last 20 or 30 years has been Commonwealth facilities going into these areas. Defence facilities in Townsville and elsewhere.''

The government has attacked the Coalition's draft paper, which reportedly includes plans to divide the north into different tax zones and reallocate $800 million from the foreign aid budget to build a tropical health medical centre in far north Queensland.

Even more contentious in this election year are reports that western Sydney will lose some 20,000 public sector jobs to northern regions under the plan.

With 10 western Sydney seats held by Labor within a margin of about five per cent, many say the election will be won or lost in that region.

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Chick Olsson
7/02/2013 12:11:17 PM

So this is the plan for agriculture? It is just a nonsense and smacks of a "great leap forward" as Mao prescribed to help farming.
Bushie Bill
7/02/2013 1:12:08 PM

RARAs should never forget that Abbott is an unreconstructed Democratic Labor politician, in the mould of Bob Santamaria. He masquarades as a Liberal (read conservative) but sees nothing wrong with market manipulation and downright denial of the human condition to achieve social(ist) (m)objectives planted in his mind at a very eary age by "you know who". If you are of the same mindset (an agrarian socialist, perhaps?), it is easy to understand why your expectations of an Abbott government are high. However, you will be taken to the cleaners by this mob, and you will squeal like pigs. Amusing.
7/02/2013 1:15:19 PM

Another plan to take our tax money to fund new competitors. Just as the MIS killed small/medium producers by funding big players who wrecked the industries before going bust. How can any farmers vote for these idiots. At best its another attempt by Tony to show each side of the fence that he is on their side. At worst it gives tax breaks to miners and their workers, at a cost to us.
7/02/2013 2:34:57 PM

High (after-tax) wages aren't enough to entice stable communities in overpriced rural and remote towns. What do we need? Young people, families and services (doctors, nurses, small business) making permanent moves to rural and remote communities short of labour. Will this help? A tiny bit. Will this open up tax loopholes to people working FIFO like myself? You bet.
7/02/2013 4:59:22 PM

Bill you need to stop listening to the voices in your head .Get out of your bunker , Fortress of arrogance or your hole find out how real people talk .The only thing missing was a evil laugh .
Bushie Bill
7/02/2013 5:11:46 PM

Hirsch, you have caught the politicians' disease of asking a question and answering it yourself. A very annoying disease, if I may say so. Is Tony Abbott the country's second biggest stunt man after Boofhead Bob? Absolutely. Will you cease and desist from this question/answer habit? I sincerely hope so. However, no one could argue with your self-provided answers.
8/02/2013 8:25:14 AM

Lets face facts, the LNP and the ALP don't have the answers, more of the same policies and fiddling at the edges is not going to stop the major econmic shake out just over the horizon. Succesive governments have signed over our soveriegnty to forces outside of Australia, now for the consequences of that stupidity!!
8/02/2013 8:35:32 AM

Abbott, Gillard, Turnbull are all part of the Club of Rome and so you vote for one or the other you end up with the same result with a bit of tinkering around the edges -see - Brilliant talk from Ann Bressington on the NWO - finally a politician exposing the truth.... S6_OXPwOU&feature=player_embedded
Bushie Bill
8/02/2013 2:22:38 PM

Hey Farmboy, translation into intelligible English, if you please. Are you saying you are confident life will be better with a Rabbit goverment? Surely not!
8/02/2013 5:33:13 PM

Critique of your style Bill .It reads like a pre-war radio drama .Next you will be telling us what darkness dwells in the hearts of men .(The Shadow)
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