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Wednesday, 23 March 1994
Page: 2042


Senator SHERRY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy) (12.44 p.m.) —As Senator Watson has mentioned, the amendments will allow tax-exempt infrastructure borrowings to be spent on two categories: the construction of infrastructure facilities on land leased from the Crown under a commercial lease, and paying interest that accrues and falls due on direct infrastructure borrowings while the facility is being constructed.

  Let me say, in terms of the background and answering the question about whether the government's objective will be met, that the infrastructure borrowings may be raised to finance the construction of specific public infrastructure facilities such as roads, rail and seaports. We believe that the objective will be met. I suppose we will be able to measure that as accurately as we would hope only when some time has passed by. Senator Watson suspects that we will not accomplish what we are setting out to do. All I can say is that the government believes we will do that. We will accomplish what is intended by the tax-exempt infrastructure borrowings. I suppose we can measure the success or otherwise of that over a period by the amount of investment in the infrastructure borrowings area.