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Thursday, 29 May 1997
Page: 3970


Senator MURRAY(12.17 p.m.) —Minister, I am very sympathetic to the sorts of remarks that Senator Cook is making. Maybe one option is not to vote against, but just to abstain, which is a little unusual, I guess.

There were two further aspects before we draw my own remarks on this to a close. Yesterday or the day before when we were discussing this, I outlined that the way in which the diesel fuel rebate is dealt with is different from the way in which excise is either not charged or is refunded when it is a matter of international treaty. They are not one and the same pieces of legislation or treaty or requirement.

I indicated to you that when an international vessel calls at an Australian port, they either get fuelled from an in-bond excise-free source or, if they pay excise, they get refunded the total amount. In contrast, diesel fuel rebate actually gets refunded slightly less than the excise. I wonder whether we are not getting confused between two separate provisions in the legislation that do not apply.