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Wednesday, 8 December 2004
Page: 96


Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (4:04 PM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

Tax Laws Amendment (Retirement Villages) Bill 2004

This bill makes minor amendments to the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 to remove public uncertainty concerning the operation of this Act in regard to retirement villages. The amendments confirm that the Government's policy concerning the goods and services tax treatment of retirement villages has not changed. The changes remove uncertainty surrounding a proposed Australian Taxation Office ruling that may have had the effect of changing the existing goods and services tax treatment for some retirement village residents.

The amendments in this bill clarify the law. They confirm that residents of serviced apartments in retirement villages are entitled to receive supplies of accommodation and a range of services GST-free. This will be the case where residents require and receive daily living or nursing assistance. The serviced apartment amendments will apply from 1 July 2000 to protect the Government's policy intent and provide certainty for industry and aged residents.

The amendments also confirm that charities that operate retirement villages are able to supply accommodation, accommodation related services and meals to their residents GST-free. The Government's amendments reaffirm the Government's commitment to the aged care industry and demonstrate that the Government is responsive to industry concerns. The charitable retirement village amendments apply from the date this bill receives Royal Assent. This reflects that arrangements currently in place by charitable retirement villages are protected by the current Australian Taxation Office published view of the law.

Full details of the amendments in this bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

I commend this bill.

Debate (on motion by Senator George Campbell) adjourned.

Ordered that the resumption of the debate be made an order of the day for a later hour.