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Wednesday, 29 April 1987
Page: 2173

Mr WHITE —My question is directed to the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, who had a bit of trouble answering a question yesterday, so he has another opportunity. Is the Minister aware that an Australian resident sportsman who, after 1 July, wins a major tournament overseas and pays tax in that country will then pay additional Australian tax? What will the Minister do about the sportsmen and women who are contemplating leaving Australia and basing themselves overseas because of Australia's high taxes, together with the new foreign tax credit scheme that will operate after 1 July?

Mr JOHN BROWN —It strikes me as strange that at last I have been asked a question on sport; I cannot believe it. Professional sportsmen in Australia will not be surprised to find that this Opposition, when it was in government for so long, ignored them in every sense of their profession and career as sportsmen or sportswomen. I think it is fair to point out to the House that this Government has introduced legislation that has been absolutely craved by professional sportsmen and women in Australia for generations. The legislation gives them the ability to average their income over a certain number of years in order to even out the imbalances that a professional sportsman has during the fluctuations of his career.

As far as the honourable member's specific question is concerned, it involves a very technical point. I will refer the question to the Treasurer.

Mr Porter —Oh!

Madam SPEAKER —I suggest that the honourable member for Barker stop interjecting.

Mr JOHN BROWN —Does the honourable member want a proper answer or does he not? Any professional sportsman performing in Australia is better off under this Government than he has been in his life. There have been some changes to the tax laws that have been brought to my attention by a couple of overseas sportsmen who have raised queries about them. I will take up the matter with the Treasurer to check the fine detail of the honourable member's question to see whether, for once in his life, he might be accurate, and I will furnish him with an answer.