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Wednesday, 31 March 1999
Page: 4894

Mr KELVIN THOMSON (5:17 PM) —The opposition will support these amendments. The government describes the A New Tax System (Fringe Benefits Reporting) Bill 1998 as being part of its tax reform package. It ought to be noted by the House that, far from being held up by the opposition, we expressly agreed to expedite Senate consideration of this bill by agreeing to remove it from the Senate GST inquiry. This occurred last week, and the bill was passed in the Senate earlier this week with the amendments. This demonstrates once again that Labor is not against fair tax reform. This bill and the amendments are evidence that we support good tax changes. We continue, however, to remain opposed to the GST.

The effect of these amendments will be to benefit a number of people in remote areas. Labor proposed these amendments in the Senate after receiving strong representations from our Northern Territory representatives, Senator Crossin and the member for the Northern Territory, Warren Snowdon. We are pleased that the government has seen fit to pick up and support these amendments, and the opposition will be supporting them here.

Question resolved in the affirmative.