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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 2462

Senator STEPHENS (Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and Parliamentary Secretary for the Voluntary Sector) (6:22 PM) —To clarify: that is procedurally what will occur as a result of this.

Leave granted.

Senator STEPHENS —I move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to these bills allowing them to be considered during this period of sittings.

I table a statement of reasons justifying the need for these bills to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statement incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

Purpose of the Bills

To validate the collection of all of excise and customs duties demanded or collected before 14 May 2009 because of Excise Tariff Proposal (No. 1) 2008 and Customs Tariff Proposal (No. 1) 2008, so that they are taken to have been lawfully imposed and lawfully demanded or collected.

This gives the effect of ensuring the additional revenue derived from tariff proposals that increased the rate of duty paid on ‘other excisable beverages not exceeding 10% by volume of alcohol’ (alcopops), between 27 April 2008 and 13 May 2009 inclusive, is not required to be refunded to the payers of that duty.

Reasons for Urgency

On 18 March 2009, the Senate negatived bills that would have applied a higher rate of duty to alcopops.

Under the laws relating to tariff proposals the Government has continued to be able to collect the higher rate of duty on alcopops that has applied since 27 April 2008. This is because officers are protected from commencement of legal proceedings for anything done by them for the protection of the revenue in relation to tariff proposals. In this case, such protection applies until the last moment of 13 May 2009.

Once such statutory protection expires, the additional revenue raised from the higher duty rate on alcopops will need to be refunded to payers of the duty. However, such action is not required where validation bills are passed by the Parliament before protection expires.

Question agreed to.