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Monday, 1 December 2008
Page: 7765

Senator MILNE (9:29 PM) —So we have a form. It is a self-regulation thing—you just tick the boxes and say, ‘I am confident that my trees are going to meet these requirements, thanks,’ and send it in to the tax office. Then the tax office sends it over to the Secretary of the Department of Climate Change without any reference to the specific land, without any reference to the water issues. What is the point of these guidelines? Are they just there to hover around the side? Who is going to enforce them? Who is going to do anything about them?

To go back to your explanation to me of how the horticultural provisions apply, let us look at divisions 40-F and 40-J—division 40-J relating to carbon sink forests and division 40-F relating to the tax deduction for planting trees to cut them down, the MIS scheme. This legislation actually says specifically that you cannot get 40-J if you are a recipient of 40-F. Therefore, it is a precondition of 40-J that 40-F does not apply. Division 40-F is the one you are telling me about in terms of why the land is not tax deductible. But the point is that it is a precondition of getting J that F does not apply, and that is why I am saying it should be specifically in the legislation and why I think your interpretation is wrong.

I am really keen to know, if someone could tell me in very specific terms, how the Secretary of the Department of Climate Change will determine compliance on surface water and groundwater. It is really specific—how will he or she get compliance in order to let the tax office know this should go ahead?