Review casts doubt over MRI license at Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital

A Federal Government review examining 348 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) licences around Australia has failed to clarify when Australia’s gold capital will have a three-million dollar life-saving machine up and running. 

During Question Time in the Senate today, WA One Nation MP Peter Georgiou asked Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (representing the Health Minister Greg Hunt), when Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital would be earmarked for an MRI license. 

“Given there are already MRI machines in Bunbury, Albany and Geraldton, can the Minister give an anticipated date as to when a licence will be provided and approved to the Kalgoorlie Regional hospital for the proposed MRI machine?” 

In her response, Minister Fierravanti-Wells revealed the Department of Health had “begun a review of the distribution and availability of Medicare MRI machines”. 

“My office then discovered the review commenced six weeks ago, around the same time when I first met with staff from Greg Hunt’s office and first raised the issue” Senator Georgiou added. 

“At this stage it seems that many residents of Kalgoorlie-Boulder will have to keep forking out thousands of dollars on travel and accommodation to Perth for important life-saving images and scans”. 

“The State Government has allocated three million dollars for this machine. We need action. What’s even more concerning is that in the past three years, four MRI licenses have been approved, in: 

Frankston- 50 kilometres form Melbourne CBD Maroondah-30 kilometres from Melbourne CBD

Epworth Hospital- in the Melbourne CBD Mt Gambier- 400 kilometres from Adelaide CBD 

Kalgoorlie-? 

“If this doesn’t smack of a Federal Government that is eastern states centric then I don’t know what is” the Senator said. 

“I would encourage Goldfields residents to lobby their local MPs and force action. Lives are at stake here.” 

Senator Georgiou hoped the review would finish early next year to be followed with news of an MRI license for Kalgoorlie Hospital soon after. 

One Nation Bank Inquiry forces Turnbull’s hand for Royal Commission

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party has welcomed news of a Royal Commission into Australia’s banking sector, citing the looming One Nation led Senate Inquiry into the finance sector as a major catalyst for the Prime Minister’s backflip.

“Upon One Nations election to the senate we immediately called for a Royal Commission into banks” Senator Hanson said.

“Next week I’ll be unveiling the recommendations of the

Senate Select Committee into Lending to Primary Production Customers which has been inundated with scores of submissions detailing inappropriate and unconscionable behaviour by the banks against our nation’s farmers.”

“Which begs the question, why are the banks not wanting any recommendations or evidence from previous inquiries taken into consideration?”

“There’s no doubt Malcolm Turnbull, the Government and the banks, are afraid of what is going to be in those findings from the One Nation led inquiry next week.”

“This Royal Commission must ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to guarantee compensation is

awarded for thousands of victims who’ve lost billions of dollars over the years” she added.

WA’s One Nation Senator, Peter Georgiou said today’s announcement was clear evidence the Banks and not the government, were running the country.

“The government has made this announcement only after the big four banks requested the Prime Minister to call for a Royal Commission and at the same time conscious of our committee findings” he said.

“This tells me the banks are clearly running the country and Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t have a back bone in his body. He is simply following the lead of his banking mates” he added.

Senators Hanson, Peter Georgiou and Brian Burston said today’s announcement was a clear reflection of One Nation forcing the Government’s hand.

What is Turnbull Scared Of?

WA Senator Peter Georgiou has renewed his support for a Royal Commission into Australia’s major banks, following a bizarre move by the Prime Minister to suspend next week’s schedule for the House of Representatives. 

“I don’t buy Malcom Turnbull’s argument that he’s postponing the House of Representatives simply to cater for the passing of the Same-Sex legislation. There are a stack of other issues that need to be resolved” he said. 

“The reality is, Parliamentarians on both sides of politics are furious and unhappy with the way the banks have behaved post the GFC and this has been quite evident during One Nation’s Senate Committee Inquiry on Lending to Primary Production Customers” Senator Georgiou added. 

“The whole financial industry needs a holistic review and people need to be held to account and answer a lot of tough questions. Simply scrapping ATM fees, in an attempt to buy some consumer goodwill, won’t cut it” he said. 

“The PM needs to grow a backbone and lead, like a leader should.

“Just like there was a Royal Commission into the Unions and the Building Industry, Australia must have a Royal Commission into the Banks today”. 

“Who’s running the country, the Prime Minister or the banks?” 

One Nation Senator honours Socceroos

Western Australian Senator Peter Georgiou has acknowledged Australia’s qualification to the World Cup in Russia next year, by moving a motion in the Senate, praising the Socceroos emphatic 3-1 win over Honduras in Sydney last night. 

Senator Georgiou, an avid football fan, said the Socceroos heroics were acknowledged by the full Senate during his motion. 

“Congratulations to the Socceroos and coach Ange Postecoglou, it’s a fantastic day for Australian sport” Senator Georgiou told the Senate. 

The One Nation MP also noted that today was the 12th anniversary of Australia’s qualification to the World Cup in Germany, when Australia beat Uruguay. 

Senator Georgiou also noted that, according to the Australian Sports Commission, football is currently the most participated sport in the country, boasting more than one million players.

Senator Georgiou said he would continue to lobby the Federal Government for a “Home of Football” to be built in Western Australia, which was aimed at establishing a training and administration centre in Perth. 

Gas Royalties For Our Nation

Speech delivered by Senator Georgiou to the Senate on the evening of November 14, 2017

A few weeks ago Pauline Hanson and I launched a new gas policy in Perth which was aimed at benefitting Australians and ensuring that as a nation we get full value for the sale of our off-shore gas.

This all came about because after becoming a Senator back in March, I was shocked to learn that neither major political party had been willing to address the generous taxation regime which has resulted in Australians paying foreign-owned multinationals, to take our gas and never pay for it.

Before I go on, I do want to acknowledge that there is a lot o fheavy investment in setting up shop. I know INPEX for example which is Japanese owned, has invested billions of dollars in WA and in Darwin to produce a gas project which has a 40-year life-span. That’s all well and good and there have been thousands of jobs created in the construction phase.

But this is where the situation for me gets ridiculous…and I’m referring to the way oil and gas companies are allowed to treat expenses when calculating their profits.

Next time you see your gas or electricity bill just remember this Government allows petroleum companies to claim MORE in

expenses, than they actually paid, which in effect represents a subsidy by taxpayers.

Let me explain, these gas giants are able to claim 18% more than what they pay for goods and services in the first year when calculating their income tax.

If they don’t make a claim, then the expense of the previous year compounds at 18% year upon year until its offset against income derived from production.

But here’s the kicker Mr Speaker….a clutch of gas companies represented by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) are sitting on 250 billion dollars of Australian tax credits which means that these multinational companies will NEVER pay income tax on the profits they make.

The companies will however make billions of dollars from our gas which will find its way possibly to a tax haven and their shareholders.

The Reserve Bank has suggested Australians buy shares in these companies if they want to benefit from Australian gas.

One Nation has proposed changes to the tax regime which would see gas companies pay something for our gas but these companies want to pay nothing and are prepared to spend big to destroy anyone who suggests Australians should get something for their natural resources.

Mining companies paid WA 39 billion dollars over the past decade…So what is wrong with One Nation wanting payment for its gas off the coast of Western Australia?

One Nation proposes a uniform royalty of 10% on the well head value of gas which means these companies pay something for the gas they take. This proposal is vigorously opposed by the companies and their peak –body, APPEA which has accused One Nation of having anti energy policies.

APPEA says a federal royalty like the one on the North West shelf is a bad idea and comes at the worst possible time and will raise less tax than the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT).

Only gas projects on the North West Shelf pays a royalty, all the other fields pay nothing.

I understand multinational gas companies would like to pay nothing for the gas they take and pay nothing on the profits they make selling our gas but it is not fair to Australians.

The Budget papers show that in 2017/18 the Government expects to receive 800 million in tax for oil and gas but most of this tax related to the waters off Victoria and is paid by BHP.

Nothing is being paid for the gas taken off the coast of WA(other than the North West Shelf) which makes us the biggest exporter of LNG in the world.
The gas companies are unwilling to consider paying for our gas and want to discredit One Nation for suggesting they pay more than nothing.

In addition to royalties One nation wants a ‘use it or lose it’policy apply to proven gas reserves, but companies with leases as old as 30 years say they want to hold onto them, for as long as they want. The effect is to limit supply and drive up gas prices which is what they accuse One Nation of doing.

Our use it or lose it policy would see more gas on the market and prices fall.

Let’s be clear and call out the elephant in the room….Australia faces a crisis because we do not have internationally competitive gas prices in the Eastern States.

This problem could be overcome with a pipeline from West to East or by shipping LNG to the east coast and then re-gassing it and putting it into the eastern states grid. AGL have already announced they are looking at a floating re-gassing platform inVictoria.

We have abundant conventional gas off the coast of Western Australia and we have a right to benefit from it.

Other countries have negotiated much better deals with multinational gas companies and it is not too late for us to get paid for our gas.

APPEA can huff and puff all it likes but One Nation is not giving in to their tactics.

One Nation cannot be bought and that presents a real problem for APPEA because it has worked so well with the major parties.

Georgiou and Hanson call for Royalties on all WA Gas sales

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party has called on the Federal Government to implement a standard 10-percent Royalty on the well-head value of all natural gas taken from Commonwealth waters.

“Australia is the only country in the world where we allow companies to take our gas without paying for it and I want to change that” said WA PHON SenatorGeorgiou.

Western Australia receives close to 650 million dollars a year in royalties linked to just two old gas licenses in the North West Shelf, but this amount would easily double if royalties were applied to new projects inCommonwealth waters like Pluto, Gorgon, Wheatstone, Icthys and Prelude (floating LNG).

“If we had a uniform 10-percent royalty applied for these and new gas ventures, and our state could collect that, WA would stand to collect at least forty billion dollars over the life-span of these projects and would

go a long way in repairing our budget deficit and take some pressure off our hard working tax-payers” he said.

Senator Hanson, who is touring Western Australia this week, renewed her call to the Prime Minister to adopt a“Use It or Lose It” policy on the 30 or more gas retention licenses off the coast of Western Australia.

“This country has given more off-shore gas licences to foreign companies than you can poke a stick at, yet many haven’t even hit the production phase in more than 30-years.

“Western Australia generates so much gas for the domestic market and we need to make sure that remote areas outside the metropolitan grid have security of gas supply at low prices.

“There are some local companies who would love to pick up a license and develop a gas project for commercial and domestic use. Why aren’t we looking within?

“The only way the Government is going to retain my confidence is to put Australia first and that means auniform royalty regime on offshore gas.

“I know the Federal Government and the Opposition fear multinationals because they donate generously to the major political parties but let me remind them that it’s Australians decide who is in Government.

“We have a mountain of debt our children can never repay. We can no longer afford to be ‘Treasure Island’

for other nations. It’s time to lighten the load on taxpayers and get multinationals to pay for our gas”Senator Hanson said.

Georgiou calls on Commonwealth to widen Cashless Debit Card trial

Senator Peter Georgiou has supported calls by Western Australia’sregional communities to include a trial of the Cashless Debit Card to the Goldfields.

The scheme has been designed to support disadvantaged communities to reduce the consumption and effects of alcohol, drugs and gambling which impact on families and communities, particularly in regional and remote communities.

The card operates like a normal bank/ATM card however it cannot be used to buy alcohol or gambling products.

Senator Georgiou said during his tour across the Goldfields last week, it was evident several councils wanted a trial of the Cashless Card in the region.

“I had councillors from the Shire of Coolgardie as well as City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor John Bowler express to me, the value of the program and how they wanted it extended to the region” the Senator said.

“So far the feedback has been positive from trials in the East Kimberley and Ceduna (South Australia) where the cashless card system is continuing after a successful 12-month trial. Therefore if it can help rebuild lives in those towns, then it should be adopted in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Coolgardie, Leonora and Laverton” he said.

“What’s even more encouraging for me is the fact that locals in these towns are willing to work with the Federal Government and be trained in

how to best utilise the card for the benefit of other people in their communities” the Senator added.

Senator Georgiou said while he understood a decision on a new round of trials would be announced in the next few months he called on Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, to roll out the program to the region sooner than later.