LABINOT Haliti remembers the fans filing into EnergyAustralia Stadium in gold, the buzz around the ground, coming off the bench on the right side of midfield and Adelaide United striker Carl Veart spoiling the party.
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The rest is a blur.

Wednesday is 10 years to the day – August 26, 2005 – since the Jets kicked off the A-League, the bold new frontier in Australian football.

A glancing header from Carl Veart in the 19th minute was enough for the visitors to secure three points and enter the history books.

Haliti, then an unheralded 19-year-old, and assistant coach Jean-Paul de Marigny are the only current Jets who were involved on the opening night.

‘‘The stadium was packed and there was a real buzz,’’ Haliti recalled. ‘‘It had been such a long pre-season. Noone knew what to expect.

‘‘The details of the game … I played on the right side of attack and Carl Veart scored.

‘‘Ten years, it doesn’t seem that long ago. It has gone quick.

‘‘The league has come a long way forward on and off the field.’’

A Kosovo refugee, Haliti was among a group of emerging players drawn up the freeway from Sydney and joined home-grown young guns Jobe Wheelhouse and Stuart Musialik.

Former Socceroos captain Ned Zelic and other internationals Richard Johnson, Ante Milicic and Vaughan Coveny provided the spine for the maiden season under Englishman Richard Money.

They finished fourth and were knocked out over two legs by Central Coast in the qualifying final.

‘‘I remember we had the first meeting at Glendale,’’ Haliti said. ‘‘Looking around there were players who had represented their country and played in Europe.

‘‘Coming from NSL days where it was part-time into a full-time set-up, we didn’t know where we were going. The league didn’t know where it was going.

‘‘I learned a lot being around great players. Some of them have gone on to coaching careers and other things.’’

The A-League replaced the National Soccer League, which had been killed off 18 months earlier.

The desire was to attract a new breed of football fan.

Knights great Andrew Johns, the king of Newcastle at the time, was recruited by then owner Con Constantine to launch the season with a ceremonial kick-off.

‘‘The league needed it back then,’’ de Marigny said.

‘‘Straight away there was a link-up between rugby league and football. We wanted everyone on board.

‘‘Football people going to follow the colours. There was no [ethnic] community behind each team.

‘‘It was what football people were craving at the time.

‘‘We knew the game was going forward from here on.’’

Haliti, now 29, has returned to the Jets for a third time, between a stint in Poland and three success-laden seasons at Western Sydney Wanderers.

‘‘I have always held the Jets close to the heart,’’ he said.

‘‘This place gave me a chance. That stays with you forever. Whoever gives you a chance in the beginning, you never forget that.’’

The attacker has arrived at a club again in transition.

Football Federation Australia is in the process of transferring the club to a consortium of investors headed by Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson.

On the pitch, the Jets are coming off their worst season.

‘‘It is definitely a challenge but one myself and the other boys are looking forward to,’’ Haliti said. ‘‘I know first-hand what people expect here, how passionate they are and how much they love the club.

‘‘We have been making little steps moving forward.

‘‘We have a lot of work in front of us, but we are working hard every day.’’



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FOUR years ago, Wallsend were saved from relegation to the fifth tier of Newcastle football when another team could not take their place in Zone League One.

On Sunday, the Red Devils will try to cap a remarkable revival when they battle Valentine for the second-tier major premiership at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Wallsend, who finished third in their return to the division this season, qualified for the Northern NSW Football first division grand final with a 6-1 thumping of Lake Macquarie on Sunday at Macquarie Field.

The result gave them a 7-4 aggregate victory over the Roosters in the two-leg semi-final. Minor premiers Valentine defeated Kahibah 3-1 on Saturday at Cahill Oval for a 4-1 on aggregate victory in the other semi.

A driving force behind Wallsend’s revival has been Chris Gallagher jnr, who has been general manager at the club since 2010 and was also coach up until this season when Josh Rufo took the reins.

Gallagher was ecstatic with the result this season and keen to build on the success with the securing of National Premier League eligibility for 2017 and beyond.

‘‘It’s been pretty fast,’’ Gallagher said of the club’s rise since 2011.

‘‘At the start of the year the goal was to be mid-season pushing for the semis.

‘‘We applied for an NPL licence and mid-season, when we were leading the table, a few questions were asked of Northern.

‘‘But they have been great to us. Gary Fisher and Ramsay [Vane-Wood] have been there to help us whenever we’ve had a question or needed something.

‘‘They wanted to see us being consistent, and we need to prove we’re sustainable.’’

While recruits Paul Wheeler, Chris Gazzard and David Hodgson have been brilliant for Wallsend this year, Gallagher was keen to praise players like Trent Richards, Trent Milton, Daniel Byatt, Rob James and Kyle Macorig, who have stuck with the club through its rise up the divisions.

Gallagher said they were all keen to finish on a high against Phoenix.

‘‘One thing Wallsend has always loved doing is taking some big scalps,’’ he said. ‘‘Lakes was the second biggest in the comp, and in the grand final Valentine are obviously the guys to beat, so it would great to beat them as well.’’

Last Sunday, Kev Orr scored twice, while Milton, Hodgson, Jason McGuire and Tega Marcus all grabbed one goal for Wallsend. Sam Walker was the Lakes scorer.

At Cahill Oval, Valentine’s Scott McGinley netted from the spot, Brett Adcock converted a one-on-one chance and Luke Barnier scored, all inside five minutes late in the game against Kahibah. Matt Lee got one back for Kahibah, who finished fourth in their first season in first division.


Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the streets of Medowie. Picture: Marina NeilBOB Baldwin says half of all TV reception complaints to the Australian Communications and Media Authority come from his electorate of Paterson.
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So it was a smiling Mr Baldwin who brought Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to a Medowie footpath on Tuesday morning to announce an $820,000-plus solution to years of dodgy reception for the troubled parts of Port Stephens.

Unfortunately, viewers with problems at Stroud, Dungog and Vacy will have to wait for a second stage of funding to have their reception improved.

But for Port Stephens, Mr Turnbull was confident that construction would be well under way by Christmas, ending years of problems that were there during the analogue era, and became worse under the digital regime.

Not unexpectedly, Mr Baldwin blamed the previous Labor government for ‘‘mishandling’’ the TV reception problem when it was in power, while Mr Turnbull went to some lengths to explain Labor’s shortcomings over the national broadband network.

Mr Baldwin said the contracts signed on Monday meant the federal government would contribute $476,475, while the television networks would contribute $351,145.

Mr Baldwin said he was ‘‘very pleased’’ to have Mr Turnbull in his electorate, but when asked whether that made him a Turnbull supporter, the Paterson MP responded even-handedly.

‘‘I support my leader, and I support Malcolm in delivering the funding and technology that is needed in my electorate,’’ Mr Baldwin said.

NBN Television chief executive Deborah Wright, who attended the announcement, said the funding would pay for a mixture of a new and expanded broadcasting equipment to strengthenlocal TV reception.

Ms Wright said the reception problems were largely caused by interference from signals broadcast from the Central Coast and the Illawarra.

The interference tended to be greater in hot weather.

Welcoming the federal funding, Ms Wright said the government’s support was ‘‘exceptionally pleasing’’ at a time when the industry was under ‘‘a reasonable amount of duress’’.

Mr Turnbull said a lot of people were watching television and drama online but conventional television broadcast services were still important.


Action from the round 24 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Newcastle Knights at AAMI Park, Melbourne, on Monday. Jesse Bromwich of the Melbourne Storm is tackled. Picture Getty Images.THE battle to avoid the wooden spoon is now a race in five, and Newcastle have slipped to third in betting after their unexpected 20-6 victory over Melbourne at AAMI Park on Monday night.
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Entering the game against the Storm, the Knights were last on the ladder and a $2.50 favourite to stay there, but their upset meant they climbed to 14th on 20 points and leap-frogged Gold Coast (20) and Wests Tigers (18).

The Tigers ($1.90) are the new favourites to finish the season with most losses, according to the market issued by TAB杭州夜网m.au on Tuesday, followed by the Titans ($4.25), Knights ($5), Panthers ($9) and Raiders ($13).

Newcastle’s win meant Canberra and Penrith, both on 20 points and sitting 12th and 13th respectively on for-and-against difference, are back in the mix.

They play each other in Canberra on Monday night, so the winner will move to 22 points and out of danger, but the loser will almost certainly face a must-win game in the final round.

The Raiders finish their season away against the Eels on September 6 and the Panthers host Newcastle 23 hours earlier.

The Knights are in better shape than they were before the Storm game but are a long way from being out of the woods as they face the surging Bulldogs (28) at Hunter Stadium on Saturday before heading to Penrith six days later for a game that could determine who collects the spoon.

By beating Melbourne by 14 points, Newcastle improved their differential to -134, which is better than Gold Coast’s (-169) but worse than Canberra’s (-12) and Penrith’s (-80).

Knights coach Danny Buderus has made only one change to the team that stopped the Storm.

Parramatta-bound back-rower Beau Scott, who missed the game because of a sterno-clavicular joint injury, was named to return.

In the reshuffle, Chris Houston was selected on the bench and prop Sam Mataora was omitted.

Who the contenders will play and how much they are paying (details from TAB杭州夜网m.au)

TIGERS (16th, 18 points, -107) Warriors (H), Dragons (A)

The spoon would be a very bad look for coach Jason Taylor in his first year after the controversial exit of Mick Potter.

Betting $1.90

TITANS (15th, 20 points, -169) Dragons (H), Cowboys (A)

Given their lack of star personnel and significant injury toll, a season without the spoon could be considered almost acceptable.

Betting $4.25

KNIGHTS (14th, 20 points, -134) Bulldogs (H), Panthers (A)

Couldn’t beat an egg through the middle of the year but have been re-energised by interim coach Danny Buderus after Rick Stone’s sacking.

Betting $5

PANTHERS (13th, 20 points, -80) Raiders (A), Knights (H)

The spoon would be an incredible fall from grace for last year’s preliminary finalists, who have been hit hard by injury.

Betting $9

RAIDERS (12th, 20 points, -12) Panthers (H), Eels (A)

Match premiership front-runners Sydney Roosters for points scored but have the NRL’s third worst defensive record.

Betting $13


STORM DAMAGE: Sandra Garland captured images of the hailstorm, which hit Murrurundi on Monday night, including the shredding of her patio roof.HAILSTONES the size of tennis and cricket balls have devastated Murrurundi in a 20-minute assault on Monday night.
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Residents say the storm hit about 7pm, rolling up over the range from the Liverpool Plains andpummelling the Murrurundi township, Timor and Ellerston, east of Scone.

By Tuesday morning, 17 volunteers from the SES at Murrurundi, Muswellbrook and Boolaroo near Lake Macquarie were in Murrurundi dealing with 44call-outs.

The SES Deputy Region Controller for the Hunter, Robyn Barco, left Metford SES headquarters at 9.30pm on Monday to travel to the town to act asincident controller.

“In the first hour after the storm the SES had 14 calls for assistance which is a large number for the Murrurundi unit.

“The majority of the calls are for roof damage,particularly skylights, where the hail was so large it just ripped holes straight through,” Ms Barco said.

The storm caused roof damage to the Murrurundi pre-school, closing it on Tuesday; the Murrurundi Public School in Mayne Street; and the Murravale aged care facility in Haydon Street.

Ms Barco said the SES crews have tarped the aged care home as a temporary measure before further repairs can take place.

“These hail stones were as big as the hail I saw at the Sydney hail storm of 1998 and I think some could have been larger.

“As we work through our jobs here today more than 12 hours after the storm there is still ice sitting on the ground now,” Ms Barco said.

STORM DAMAGE: Sandra Garland captured images of the hailstorm, which hit Murrurundi on Monday night, including the shredding of her patio roof.

Ms Barco said the entire SES team in Murrurundi had done an exceptional job and she was urginganyone who needed assistance to contact the SES on 132 500.

Meantime, owner of the Murrurundi Post Office Robyn Turnbull said it was a devastating few minutes.

“There’s terrible damage and it’s all over town and the hail ranged in size from golf balls to tennis balls.

“Our big 5000-gallon galvanised water tanks out the back were full and they’re now nearly empty after the hail punched holes right through them.

“I’ve never seen a storm like it in my life and the Mitsubishi 4WD looks like an overgrown golf ball now,” Mrs Turnbull said.

The car was hit after Mrs Turnbull’s husband, Graham, went to watch Monday night football at a friend’s house down the road.

“I went to see the ‘crash bang’ man, Peter at Murrurundi Body Works, at 9.30am on Tuesday and he told me I was about the ninth person to come through the door with hail damage,” Mr Turnbull said.

Two doors down the road, on Mayne Street, Bob Mahoney had a friend visiting in their brand newcaravan.

The van was wrecked and the annexe absolutely shredded.

Murrurundi SES Local Controller Bob Standen had three hours sleep when the Hunter Valley News spoke to him on Tuesday.

He worked from 6pm on Monday to 3am on Tuesday and was up again at 6am on to carry on with his team of volunteers.

“Anything plastic has disintegrated and the whole town in one square kilometre has been affected.

“There are no trees down but they’ve all been stripped bare, but those hailstones; they were massive and they’ve done a lot of damage to skylights,” Mr Standen said.

Like Graham and Robyn Turnbull at the Murrurundi Post Office, the SES’ Bob Standen and wife, Rosemary, suffered damage, too.

His wife, Rosemary, summed it up.

“Our Holden Commodore looks like a ball of Swiss cheese, the back window’s been blown out, half the sheets that cover the greenhouse are gone and there’s not a plastic peg left on the line,” she said.


The Oily George cafe baristas Sam Phipps and Tegan Rossiter. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTHE OILY GEORGE ESPRESSO BAR
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Address: 38 Georgetown Road, Georgetown

Open: Monday to Friday 6.30am to 2pm; Saturday 7am to noon; Sunday 8am to noon.

Phone: 0473 075 573

Website: Facebook The-Oily-George-Espresso and @the_oily_george on Instagram

A traditional treat: A cappuccino and a muffin. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

COFFEE. They love to drink it, pour it, make it, talk about it and, most of all, share it at The Oily George Espresso Bar in Georgetown.

Named in a nod to sister cafe The Good Oil in Wallsend and the suburb of Georgetown itself, the cafe opened about three months ago and already positively buzzes with both good vibes and the keen chatter of locals and visitors chasing a caffeinated buzz.

The quick grab espresso bar – modelled on the European style of espresso bars – serves coffee from Port Macquarie’s Peak Coffee. The Oily George serves a blend and a changing single origin from the roaster, which is known not only for excellent coffee but personal relationships with the plantations and growers from which they source their beans.

Local Alison Reid enjoys the relaxing vibe. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Similarly, the staff at The Oily George – including baristas Tegan Rossiter and Sam Phipps – strive for personal relationships with their customers. They know many by name and by order and are always keen for a chat from behind the coffee machine even as they pump out orders.

While some punters drop in for a quick takeaway, others linger longer outside soaking up the sun – perhaps with their dogs too – and others take a perch inside on stools made with repurposed hessian coffee bags. There’s a community library (take a book, leave a book) inside too, while the little customers can indulge in some chalk art after their free baby chino.

Chalk art – this time by the professional Just Joel – also adorns the walls of the espresso bar. There’s the huge world map above the coffee machine which will soon feature the different origins of coffee from around the world, while another wall features chalk art of a coffee farm at sunrise.

Though coffee is undoubtedly the focus of The Oily George, the espresso bar also serves a selection of fair trade and organic teas, chai lattes, frappes, smoothies and milkshakes.

They also have a selection of baked daily muffins in flavours such as strawberry, dark chocolate and coconut, berry white chocolate and coconut, and banana and triple berry.

There are gluten-free friands and savoury options too, such as bacon, pumpkin and spinach frittata.


Nathan Tinkler. A STRING of companies that formed part of Nathan Tinkler’s horse breeding and racing empire has been placed into voluntary administration, only a few weeks after a court was told a settlement was close to being struck with a creditor seeking to wind them up.
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Deloitte Restructuring Services partners Neil Cussen and David Mansfield were appointed administrators on Sunday over Patinack Farm Pty Ltd, Monegeetta Holdings, and companies Patinack Farm Holdings No 2 through to Patinack Farm Holdings No 8.

Patinack Farm Pty Ltd is the trading entity of the group, while the others are said to hold related property interests.

US financier Jefferies Group has been pursuing most of the companies through the NSW Supreme Court since March, originally chasing about $41million.

Early this month, Mr Tinkler’s then lawyer, Damien Allen, told the court a final settlement had been reached, subject to the terms being put into writing.

Justice Paul Brereton adjourned the matter at that time to enable the deal to be finalised.

But on Monday, another adjournment had to be granted, after the court was informed administrators had been brought in over the weekend.

Mr Cussen said: ‘‘It’s very early days as far as our appointment and our investigations into the financial position of the group and the potential for restructure is concerned’’.

Another company, Patinack Farm Administration Pty Ltd, went into liquidation in 2012 with debts of more than $5million, leaving former staff among those out of pocket.

The Newcastle Herald has also reported an order was made in the Supreme Court of South Australia in July to prepare a warrant for Mr Tinkler’s arrest after he failed to appear to answer questions about the demise of the Patinack empire.

The order was set aside earlier this month after Mr Tinkler made a deal with the liquidator, offering up a property owned by his mother.


JEAN-PAUL DE MARIGNY JEAN-Paul de Marigny first met then Jets director of football Remo Nogarotto at the Parklea Markets base of owner Con Constantine in September, 2004.
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It was the first of many coffees they would share.

Constantine had entrusted the experienced duo to assemble a playing squad for the inaugural A-League.

Build a roster that would compete, first and foremost, and also represent the fabric of the Hunter football faithful.

De Marigny, who was coach before dropping back to assistant when Englishman Richard Money was flown in, had vast experience – and success – as a player and coach in the old national league.

Nogarotto, an ex-chairman of Football Australia, had an extensive network of contacts and influence to go with it.

‘‘I remember meeting with Remo and Con at Parklea and mapping out a plan,’’ de Marigny said. ‘‘Balance was obviously important.

‘‘Initially the philosophy was to get players familiar with each other.

‘‘Assemble a group who had played together but also succeeded together.

‘‘Andrew Durante, Nicky Carle, Ante Milicic, Matt Thompson, Jade North … they had already been successful, would settle quickly and then we were up and running.’’

Then came the big guns, led by former Socceroos captain Ned Zelic, who was installed as the marquee and skipper.

Fellow internationals Richard Johnson and Vaughan Coveny also brought quality.

‘‘Ned was a big signing for us,’’ de Marigny said.

‘‘Big player, big personality and gave us credibility straight away.

‘‘We looked at Richie first and foremost because he was a good player. He had played in the Premier League at Watford, was a Socceroo and a midfielder.

‘‘Plus he was from Newcastle and had an instant connection with the fans.

‘‘We targeted a couple of other high-profile players but the money dried up. The salary cap was $1.2million at the time. I came from Marconi, who in the last national soccer league had a budget of $1.675m.’’

The Jets finished the regular season in fourth place, before going down to Central Coast Mariners over two legs in the qualifying final.

De Marigny parted ways with the Jets at season’s end as part of a clean-out.

The younger players he helped recruit went on to form the nucleus of the team who were crowned champions two years later.

‘‘The business side of things we had to be smart,’’ de Marigny said. ‘‘Look at the young ones, Stu Musialik, Jobe Wheelhouse, Labinot Haliti, Mark Bridge, Tarek Elrich … we identified Ben Kennedy, Jason Hoffman. If you look at what they have done since, it was good business.’’

After his exit from the Jets, de Marigny spent seven years out of the A-League. He was lured back in 2013 to assist Kevin Muscat in his maiden campaign in charge at powerhouse club Melbourne Victory.

‘‘The game had evolved so much from the first time I was involved to the second,’’ de Marigny said.

‘‘Being outside and then coming back in. They were worlds apart.

‘‘The scouting with all the different programs, the level of visa players have become better. The due diligence is more thorough.’’

After two successful seasons at the Victory, highlighted by the premiership double last season, de Marigny is back where he started. The job is not too dissimilar from the one he performed a decade ago.

‘‘At the Victory the club philosophy is what can we give you to make it better,’’ de Marigny said.

‘‘We don’t have that [budget]. But there is more than one way to skin a cat.

‘‘It is about maximising your resources. Knowing what tools you need and how you want to use them, that is important.

‘‘This club now is all about getting the tools to make the team better.’’


LAW ACTUALLY: The 2015 Law Revue
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Presented by: The University of Newcastle Law Students Association

Venue: Hunter Theatre, Broadmeadow

Season: Ended Saturday

LAWYERS are trained to look at every aspect of the matters they are handling, so it wasn’t surprising that this year’s law revue, staged by Newcastle University law students, not only reworked, tongue-in-cheek, the title of the romantic film comedy Love Actually, but also imitated on the cover of its theatre program the film’s poster showing the stars of its intertwined romantic stories.

And there was certainly romance in the revue, with a love affair between two law lecturers at the university providing a throughline between the sketches.

This romance also included amusing references to well-known films, with a female lecturer character called Hannah Bell Lecter specialising in violent actions. And while I initially wondered about the model for the male, Tristan Evans, a duet late in the show called Heavens, Dr Evans brought to mind an amusing song from Keating! The Musical in which a similarly named academic lawyer-turned-politician and a woman from another party voice their love for each other.

But audience members didn’t need to know the backgrounds of law and lawyers to enjoy the show. Another song, The Lecturer’s Lament, had an academic moaning about ‘‘empty chairs and empty tables’’ when he had a law class in a lecture theatre.

The student team put together some clever videos drawing on popular television shows.

Law – The Final Frontier had a group of lawyers with names including Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Sulu and Bones (all preceded by Mr) meeting in a book-lined office to discuss tricky cases, such as an exploding goat.

The live sketches with only passing mentions of legal issues included an early-morning radio/television team reading letters from prominent people, among them Tony Abbott, with the letter writers seen voicing their hilarious words.

An amusingly staged puppet show version of Little Red Riding Hood had the title character considering taking legal action over the treatment she was receiving from the wolf.

A sketch in which a Disney executive chastised two male workers for their sexual manoeuvres with female characters in the company’s films effectively had all the characters in black-and-white costumes and make-up, in contrast to the bright colours used in the cinema works.

And a suited case-worker called Bond, who looked like the same-name hero of popular thrillers, decided he’d achieve more by working online, which jovially showed how times have changed.

The 20 cast members, who included directors Jordan Rothwell, Sarah Behne-Smith, and Chris Laidler, confirmed why university revues have long had a reputation for making pertinent comments in a bright way.


Treasurer Joe Hockey outlines his plans for tax reform. Photo: Steven SiewertHockey can’t say how he will fund income tax cuts
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The only way Treasurer Joe Hockey could raise enough GST revenue to pay for his election tax-cut pledge would be to extend the tax to fresh food, education and healthcare.

A Parliamentary Library analysis obtained by Fairfax Media shows that if Mr Hockey extended the GST to healthcare products – as hinted by the Treasurer this week – it would raise an extra $16.25 billion in revenue over four years.

But that would not be enough to cover the $25 billion revenue shortfall estimated to arise from his personal income tax cut proposal.

The analysis shows the Treasurer would be able to cover the $25 billion shortfall if he extended the GST to cover healthcare and fresh food, raising $43 billion over four years.

But that would still only be a short-term fix, because the cumulative impact of his tax cuts would become much larger in 10 years’ time, overtaking the GST on healthcare and fresh food.

The analysis shows if the GST was extended to healthcare and fresh food it would raise an extra $145 billion over 10 years. But the estimated revenue shortfall from the tax cuts would be $165 billion in 10 years.

Mr Hockey on Wednesday rejected reports that he had suggested applying the GST to healthcare, telling journalists “I never said that.”

“What that does is it illustrates how hard it is to get a proper discussion about taxation reform underway,” he said.

“I never said the GST should be applied to health.”

But on Monday Mr Hockey said the GST was only applied in a “narrow” way to Australia’s goods, particularly to the healthcare sector, “which is essentially GST free”.

“And because health is growing with the ageing population, it means that the tax base for the GST is narrow,” he said.

His comments were interpreted as a sign the government may be preparing the ground for GST changes – extending the GST to healthcare – that it could take to the next election.

Parliamentary Library figures show the only way the Abbott government could fund its tax cuts with the GST would be to extend it to healthcare, fresh food and education, raising $198 billion in 10 years.

Extending the GST to those three areas would be politically risky, further increasing the likelihood Mr Hockey will instead seek to cut government spending to help pay for the tax cuts.

Greens Treasury spokesman Adam Bandt has criticised the tax cut proposal, saying Mr Hockey is proposing a shift of the taxation burden onto low-income households.

“The Treasurer would need to extend the GST to health, education and food to cover the cost of his income tax cuts,” Mr Bandt said.

“The Treasurer is planning a tax shift, not a tax cut. He’s ruled out balancing the books by reforming unfair tax breaks for the wealthy, but he’s kept alive a broader GST.”

Mr Hockey says the Abbott government has “[no] other choice” but to cut taxes for middle and low-income households, because without personal income tax cuts about 300,000 Australians will move into the second highest tax bracket in the next two years because of inflation and rising wages – referred to as “bracket creep”.

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