Luke Hartsuyker’s outings in parliament and the media in the dying days of his inglorious career are nothing short of irresponsible and embarrassing. 

He should know better. The people of Port, Coffs, Kempsey and the mid-north coast deserve better. 

Mr Hartsuyker should go quietly – he adds nothing positive to anything these days. He needs to stop lying. 

In recent weeks Mr Hartsuyker has claimed the decision of both houses of parliament to support the ‘Medi-vac Bill’ would “materially hit funding for regions”. 

He has also said Labor will impose a ‘Retirement Tax’ on people. 

Both are lies. 

Labor’s approach to all policy is one of fairness. 

Medi-vac Bill

First, he claims the decision of the parliament to support transfers for medical emergencies would come at a cost, which could be better spent in the regions. 

This is a bit rich from a government that wanted to give an $80 billion tax cut to big business, including $17 billion to the banks. The wanted tax handouts to the banks were way more than Australia’s border protection bill. Could that have not been better spent in the regions, Luke?

There is no difference between Labor and Liberal when it comes to our border protection regime.

We support offshore processing, turnbacks when safe to do so, and regional resettlement – there will be no changes to this under a Shorten Labor Government.

Scott Morrison is running a desperate and shrill scare campaign – spreading baseless lies about Labor’s strong position on border protection.

Australians understand our nation can be strong on borders and still treat people humanely which is why the parliament has successfully passed legislation to help sick refugees and asylum seekers currently on Nauru and Manus Island to receive urgent medical care.

This bill was needed because Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and the Liberals have left vulnerable people to languish on Nauru and Manus Island for close to six years.

This legislation only applies to people who are currently in regional processing – removing any incentive, no matter how small, for people to risk their life at sea.

Dividend imputation

Second, there is no retirement tax. To suggest there is one is a lie.  

Mr Hartsuyker and the Nationals support a cash refund for wealthy Australians owning shares costing around $6 billion a year. 

Under the Nationals, some people get a cash tax refund for not paying tax. This is obscene. 

Labor is ending this loophole in the tax system and putting the money into basic services such as schools, hospitals, policing and aged care.

Only four per cent of Australians benefit from this cash refund system but all of us pay for it. 

Let’s be clear: under Labor’s plan, no one will pay a single cent more tax.  No one will lose a single cent from their super contributions. 

No one will lose a single cent from their pension.  No one will lose a single cent from their share dividends.

Everyone who gets share dividends can still use the imputation system to reduce their tax bill, which avoids double taxation.  

But they won’t be able to get a tax refund if they’ve paid no income tax.