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Matt Canavan tells the press club that our current tax system is “very competitive”

Resources Minister Senator Matt Canavan addressed the National Press Club today.

When asked by David Denham from Preview Magazine if declining trends in exploration and production in the petroleum industry should make us more inclined to encourage things like electric cars and renewable energy more broadly to fill the gap, Senator Canavan gave this amazing response:

“We have attracted more than 200 billion dollars worth of investment in the last decade in oil and gas generally so we obviously are doing something right in this country. I think we do have very competitive tax systems and tax settings and that’s been proven.”


For those who want to hear it from the horse’s mouth (or is that arse), start at 56:20.



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  1. Matters Not

    I watched my tape on Canavan’s presentation and noted in particular the question from Katharine Murphy about the impending transition to a new economy and his response. Seems to me that he wants to hold back the incoming technological tide because that’s the desirable thing to do. And he presented that case rather well (emotionally speaking.)

    Simply unrealistic. But politically sustainable in the context of his base? Particularly for those who have more than one head.

  2. Kaye Lee


    If you watched it (and I must confess I skipped the speech and went straight to the questions), you would have heard Canavan, in response to Murphy, saying that Australians had a right to maintain our rights to our sovereignty and to decide how we are governed. He was, at the time, talking about foreign donations to environmental groups and their strategy to “hijack our democracy” by using “lawfare” to hold up developments.

    The first thing that popped into my head was the investor-state dispute settlements that his government so quickly agreed to in our free trade agreements which give up our right to make laws that might affect foreign companies’ profits. As for his “lawfare” crap, we have laws and we have courts and we have the right to use them. If we want to talk lawfare, have a look at how much time and money the Coalition has wasted fighting freedom of information requests or on attacking unions.

    And Canavan arrogantly said he had been democratically elected running on an unashamedly pro-coal platform. He got 2,255 votes.

    To say “he presented that case rather well” would require not listening to (or questioning) the actual words but just admiring his ability to string a sentence together.

  3. cartoonmick

    He has not yet passed one Pub Test, not one.

  4. Matters Not

    KL, truth is, I didn’t watch the whole speech today – just 60 minutes in less than 10 – jumping about as I did other things like watching Question Time to see the daily Theme. (I do have a life).

    Seems to me that Canavan is a dill. But I also think he will be a future leader of the National Party – he seems to have all the necessary credentials. He knows what buttons to push and when. But his close connection to Barnaby might prove fatal,

    As for his election and the number of direct votes (or lack of same) seems irrelevant. After all it’s a Senate election.

    As for ISDS – it’s laughable from any government that preaches sovereign borders.

  5. Ricardo29

    Anyone who uses the words coal and beautiful in the same sentence has got to be as thick as two short planks. With regard to the comment about”lawfare”, I suggest the entire LNP parliamentary team needs to attend a lecture on democracy and the rights it confers on the citizenry such as the right to lawfully protest.

  6. David Bruce

    How you know when a politician is lying… I try not to encourage them, so I ignore everything they say. It is better to judge them by their actions or lack of.

  7. Kaye Lee

    I just can’t believe that, in all the reporting about Canavan’s speech from a room full of journalists, I am yet to find anyone who picked up on Canavan’s admission that we already have a very competitive tax system.

  8. Diane Larsen

    Journalists surely you joke they are mostly propagandalists for the current government I come here if I want to know whats happening definitely best site for whats going on

  9. johno

    Sorry Kaye, this is going over my head. What are you saying.

  10. Helen

    Sometimes I wish that the educated had TWO votes, to kick these dullards and worse (paid lackeys) out. Not fair I know, just thinking.

  11. Kaye Lee


    The government are pushing for corporate tax cuts yet Canavan has admitted that our current tax system is “very competitive”. So why reduce taxes if we are already attracting investment?

  12. johno

    Could it mean he thinks the new proposed corporate tax cuts are in the bag ?

  13. Henry Rodrigues

    Anytime there is a ‘gaggle’ of journalists, appearing to interrogate a minister as obtuse as Canavan, and the gaggle includes Katharine Murphy, forget any penetrating questions or objective reporting or comments. She is the worst example of a real journalist. Not the only one but definitely the the one that could be used as a lesson in what not to be.

  14. Kaye Lee


    No because he was talking about the investment from the last decade, not future investment.

  15. johno

    Okay, cheers.

  16. helvityni

    I was at my Doctor’s waiting room yesterday, two other earlier ‘customers’ were busy with their iPhones,the TV had some commercial station’s soapie on, hubby turned it on to ABC, Canavan’s monotone rattle was even worse, I switched the TV off, no one protested…

  17. Kronomex

    Marvellous Coal Canavan had agreed to a lie detector test. The only problem was as he walked into the room the detector wrote out the folowing message, “HE’S LYING!” and turned itself off. The senator hurriedly left without saying a word.

  18. Glenn Barry

    We’re well into the realm of fantasy with this one – the truth is clearly a variable and alternative facts are an actual phenomenon

  19. Kaye Lee


    I have to agree. And the fact that he can string a sentence together makes him even more dangerous. On his facebook page, he is getting a lot of praise for his speech. Forget the inconsistencies, Forget the promises he can’t fulfil. Forget the omissions. Forget climate change and our rising emissions.

    As one of Matt’s fans said…

    “Let’s hurry up and build many coal fired power stations across the country so we can have a competitive manufacturing sector, and reduced residential power.

    Let’s get it done ASAP.”

    How impossibly selfish can these people be? Sacrifice the planet because I want to pay less for my electricity bill which is only high because the government has allowed big business to gouge profits. Bugger the kids….every mum and dad investor for themselves!

  20. guest

    Of course Canavan spruiks these deluded Coalition fantasies. He cannot think of any job-creating projects in Oz except the digging up of coal and shipping it overseas to be burnt.

    Besides the deluded “promise” of jobs – 10,000, according to some unproven claims (and much more than Adani itself can promise), Canavan makes “virtue-signals” (a right wing term) about how millions of poor people in India will be lifted out of poverty. How that will happen, exactly, is not explained. Nor is it ever mentioned by these coal advocates that the poor are being helped by solar energy and solar cookers.

    Another thing Canavan claims for Oz coal is that it is more “pure” than Indian coal and therefore better according to “some people” concerned about emissions. Which is about as close as he gets to even mentioning climate change and its concerns. He tells us if Oz does not sell India the coal, then someone else will. It is about the money.

    And not just about Adani, but also all those others waiting in the wings. However, Rio Tinto has sold off its last Oz coal mine for $2.25m, to whom is not mentioned, but if Oz people have their way and coal is phased out by 2030, that mine – and others – will be stranded assets.

    We seem to be quite happy to let entrepreneurial people take over our assets, such as water, forests and coral reefs. If Canavan is worried about jobs in QId, and if we continue to cook the planet, the Great Barrier Reef will not be a tourist destination and thousands of jobs will be lost, wages unfilled by a mechanised extraction of coal in the Galilee Basin. How short-sighted are these people such as Canavan? They seem to view the world through the wrong end of the telescope.

    An anecdote. I was approached by a lady in the car park. She was upset about the treatment of the cricketers in South Africa. She waved a newspaper. It has been happening for years, she said. It is about too much money in sport and the need to win. We need to be tough. No place for “nice people”, certainly not in politics. We need strong leaders and investments driven by investors She has seen in it all in her many years. Yes. I said, like investing in coal. All that, she said. I knew whom she voted for.

    I wonder if that lady knows any more about what climate change means for the world than Matt Canavan knows. Probably not. Nice comfortable existence, no need to worry.

  21. johno

    In the face of so many deadly signs of a warming planet here and around the world, this head in the sand action on climate change continues.

  22. Glenn Barry

    Kaye Lee, the magnificence of the deception is that the poles and wires privatisation is accounting for the largest portion of price increases, not coal or renewable generation – that’s the first lie.
    Coal is now more expensive than renewables, that’s the second lie,
    Power prices are just one reason why manufacturing isn’t competitive in this country, that’s the third lie

    This country is becoming no place for truth or facts and there’s an overcrowding of shame to boot…

  23. Kronomex

    And once again Fatman George is out of his padded room along with the Mad Monk and Baarnabee –

    Then there’s this; if it happened in the real world the people involved would have had a couple of tonnes of bricks dropped on them for fraud, just to name one crime –

  24. Glenn Barry

    Yeah the Govt. should purchase worthless coal fired power stations – I’ve got a good idea for George Christensen – he should take the pistol from his twitter photos, insert the barrel into his rectum and keep pulling the trigger until it goes click

  25. guest

    Further to my rant above @4:42:

    I see where 7000 refugees will lose income support. Let them eat cake, I suppose.

    What amazes me is the way rules/laws/international regulations are changed or even ignored. We saw it with regard to the Refugee Convention and Climate Change agreements since Copenhagen. We see it with regard to water regulation, land clearance and now the maintenance of Marine Parks.

    This latter desire for regulation change perhaps arises from the realisation that the demise of the Great Barrier Reef is a real possibility and the Coalition has decided it can “manage” tourism and fishing in the Marine Parks. Whereas, the reality is that it cannot manage anything, which is a position arising from its ideology of small government. Think NBN.

    Consequently we are now thinking about the fact that we are in need of another planet or two to continue with our consumption of resources. It will just require another massive heap of money to achieve that, never mind the starving millions left back on Earth. It is a mentality well established on this planet already. It is the modus operandi of rampant capitalism.

  26. silkworm

    He’s borrowing terms from Trump. Trump used the term “beautiful” to describe his proposed border wall.

  27. Andreas Bimba

    “Sacrifice the planet because I want to pay less for my electricity bill which is only high because the government has allowed big business to gouge profits.”

    So true, the corporate oligarchy is running rings around the electoral sheep that continue to vote for more. The average voter has no f*cking clue which is proven by the recent Liberal victories in Tasmania and South Australia.

    Canavan is just a political figure head or puppet doing the public relations work for the corporate oligarchy and international capital and should be rejected by all but he gets elected.

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