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Thursday, 12 December 1996
Page: 8404


Mr MARTIN —My question is addressed to the Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism. I refer the minister to his media release of 19 November regarding plans to split the massive reef tax hike into two taxes—the two for one tax—in which he states:

Under the new arrangements the EMC (reef tax) will rise from $1 to $2 from 1 January 1997. A $4 (tourist visitor) charge will be levied on users of commercial facilities and craft from 1 January 1998.

Can the minister confirm that the new $4 tax to be levied on `users of commercial facilities' will now apply to all business activity in and around the Great Barrier Reef, such as restaurants, shops and hotels? Will the minister also confirm that, by definition, the term `craft' will mean that individual boat owning families who use the reef will also be exposed to the reef tax? Finally, will the minister heed the warning of the Queensland Sunday Mail editorial of 24 November which stated `every few thousand dollars that the reef tax raises will put another school leaver out of work'?


Mr MOORE —The environment charges levied in the last budget are a matter for the Minister for the Environment, so direct your question to the right person. As the question relates to the tourist areas, I point out that those charges will not be extended to hotels, restaurants and so on.