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Thursday, 27 September 2001
Page: 31631

Mr McGAURAN (Minister for the Arts and the Centenary of Federation) (9:53 AM) —I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

This bill will provide legislative authority for the domestic entry into force of a new comprehensive taxation agreement with the Russian Federation. The bill will insert the text of the agreement into the International Tax Agreements Act 1953 as a schedule to that act.

The agreement between Australia and the Russian Federation was signed on 7 September 2000.

The new Russian agreement generally accords with the other comprehensive taxation agreements concluded by Australia in recent years.

The government believes the conclusion of the new agreement will strengthen trade, investment, and wider relationships between Australia and Russia.

The Russian agreement will enter into force when diplomatic notes are exchanged advising that all of the necessary domestic processes to give them the force of law in each country have been completed. The enactment of this bill, and the satisfaction of the other procedures relating to proposed treaty actions, will complete the processes followed in Australia for those purposes.

Full details of the amendments are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

I commend the bill and present the explanatory memorandum.

Mr SPEAKER —The debate must now be adjourned. I call the member for Denison to adjourn the debate.

Mr Kerr —I move—

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Denison has the call. He will come to the dispatch box, as is the custom of the House.

Mr Kerr —I apologise, Mr Speaker, for the provocation I am giving you. I am simply making the point that these matters cannot be proceeded through this parliament, but I do move the adjournment.

Mr McGauran —On a point of order—

Mr SPEAKER —The minister will resume his seat. If there was anything acting outside the standing orders, clearly they would not be being introduced to the parliament. The procedure is entirely in keeping with what has been the custom for parliaments for over 100 years.

Mr McGauran —On a point of law, Mr Speaker. I do not wish to be too sanctimonious in this instance because I have also fallen foul of Speakers in the past, but I am distressed by the honourable member's behaviour. I do believe that he was defying you.

Mr SPEAKER —The minister will resume his seat.

Debate (on motion by Mr Kerr) adjourned.