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Monday, 1 December 2008
Page: 7767

Senator JOYCE (Leader of the Nationals in the Senate) (9:36 PM) —Thank you very much, Aristotle! That was incredible. A depreciable asset—he is right!—is a truck, a thing that over time has a value that deteriorates, that diminishes. And—guess what!—he is dead right: it does not include land. It never has. But land is definitely capital. It is not an asset that is subject to diminution. It is not a truck. It is not a car. It is not a fence. Land is a capital asset whose base is structured and permanent.

The minister says that he hangs the relevance of this legislation on the fact that it excludes land because land is not a depreciable asset—his quote, not mine; he said that in this chamber—and therefore we have nothing to worry about; because that is the case, the problem is solved. We have clearly proved tonight that land is definitely not a depreciable asset; in fact, he agrees with me. But land is definitely capital. Therefore the legislation is flawed. In this committee stage of this piece of legislation, for something we have been discussing since 26 June, we now have a huge hole in your legislation, a hole you could drive a truck through. The smart people know the hole is there. That is why they put it there; that is why they made you agree to it. This document is what you are referring to, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. This is where it all comes from. You have a huge hole in your legislation, Minister. What are you going to do about it?