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Monday, 8 October 1984
Page: 1435

Senator MESSNER(10.28) — The Opposition acknowledges the points made by the Democrats. I am informed that they are quite happy to support our amendment because of the technical factors that favour it rather than their own. Consequently, the effect will be the same as though they were proposing their own amendment. As a senator for South Australia, and having been involved in overseeing the arrangements which the then Fraser Government was making with the State Government of South Australia at the time of the Ash Wednesday bush fires, I have clearly in my mind that there was no doubt that people were given to understand that a tax deduction would be available for gifts such as fodder and other items made in kind to the victims of the bush fires by farmers and other people. As a result I think this amendment is thoroughly justified on the basis of my understanding of the Federal Government's undertaking to the State Government at that stage. I admit that I am going on my own memory of what happened, but I believe that at the time there were significant and high level discussions directly between the Prime Minister and the Premier of South Australia. Consequently, I believe that the undertaking could be substantiated. For that reason we believe that the provision should apply from 1 July 1982 so that it will have effect during the income year ended 30 June 1983 and subsequently to cover the period which encompasses the bush fire date.

Consideration interrupted.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Sibraa) —Order! It being 10.30 p.m., under sessional order order I put the question:

That the Temporary Chairman do now leave the chair and report to the Senate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Temporary Chairman having reported accordingly-