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Thursday, 20 September 2001
Page: 31087


Mr SLIPPER (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) (10:11 AM) —I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

The Fuel Legislation Amendment (Grant and Rebate Schemes) Bill 2001 contains amendments to the Customs Act 1901, the Excise Act 1901 and the Diesel and Alternative Fuels Grants Scheme Act 1999 to extend the sunset provisions of the Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme and the Diesel and Alternative Fuels Grants Scheme. The bill also extends eligibility for emergency vehicles under the Diesel and Alternative Fuels Grants Scheme as well as making a number of administrative amendments to the scheme.

These amendments will extend the schemes until 30 June 2003 allowing the government to incorporate the findings of the Fuel Taxation Inquiry into the development of the Energy Grants (Credits) Scheme.

The amendments to the Diesel and Alternative Fuels Grants Scheme will extend the scope of the scheme for emergency vehicles of 4.5 tonnes or more gross vehicle mass to provide a grant for all fuel used in these vehicles and associated auxiliary equipment whether the fuel is used on road or off road. This amendment will benefit emergency services organisations, particularly rural fire service providers, and will reduce the administrative workload on rural fire service volunteers in calculating the amount of fuel eligible for a grant.

The administrative amendments to the Diesel and Alternative Fuels Grants Scheme make changes to the grant period provisions; extend the period for reconciling and repaying advances; insert a provision allowing claimants to authorise a third party to make claims on their behalf; and replace the statutory formula for calculating eligible fuel use with a regulation making power. The amendments are intended to reduce the cost of compliance for businesses by simplifying record keeping requirements and claiming arrangements.

Full details of the measures in the bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

I commend the bill and present the explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Dr Lawrence) adjourned.