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Thursday, 26 June 2008
Page: 3536


Senator CONROY (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) (3:19 PM) —Mr President, could I also thank you and congratulate you on your term in office and thank you for your kind words about how much you missed Senator Carr and me in the last week.

I took two questions without notice from Senator Colbeck earlier today. I would like to provide a response to these questions. The government has issued drafting instructions for this measure. Consistent with provisions of the excise and customs legislation, the revenue can be collected for 12 months from the time the tariff alterations are proposed in the parliament or until the close of the parliamentary session—that is, until the next election—whichever occurs first. The government intends introducing the required customs and excise tariff amendment bills into parliament consistent with those provisions.

The answer to Senator Colbeck’s second question is that, yes, we seek all kinds of advice and Treasury seeks legal advice where appropriate. It is standard practice that governments do not release legal advice. Consistent with provisions of the excise and customs legislation, the revenue can be collected—


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Conroy, please resume your seat. There are too many groups having conversations around the chamber. Senator Heffernan and Senator Fielding, this is the second time today.


Senator CONROY —As I was saying, consistent with provisions of the excise and customs legislation, the revenue can be collected for 12 months from the time the tariff alterations are proposed in the parliament or until the close of the parliamentary session—that is, until the next election—whichever occurs first. The government intends introducing the required customs and excise tariff amendment bills into parliament consistent with those provisions.