Monday, 25 February 2013 14:47
The federal opposition in the Senate has put forward a motion of no confidence in the Labor government for its handling of the mining tax.
"Never before in the history of the Commonwealth have the Australian people endured such a dysfunctional and incompetent government," leader of the opposition in the Senate Eric Abetz told the upper house on Monday.
The mining tax raised just $126 million in its first six months of operation. Treasury had forecast it would raise $2 billion in its first year.
"Who else could agree to a scheme that collects virtually no money," Senator Abetz said.
It's the first Senate sitting day since Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne tore up the minor party's agreement with Labor made after the 2010 election.
During Monday's debate, Senator Abetz saw the government's leader in the Senate, Stephen Conroy, talking to the Greens senators.
"It was very telling to see these people who allegedly ripped up the marriage certificate are there in deep discussion. We will see what comes from it," he said.
Finance Minister Penny Wong responded to Senator Abetz.
"This is nothing more than a stunt," she said.
Senator Wong accused the coalition of playing to the bigger-than-usual number of reporters observing Senate question time.
The lower house was not sitting on Monday.
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