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Thursday, 13 May 2010
Page: 3642

Mr GRIFFIN (Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel) (12:15 PM) —in reply—Firstly, let me thank those members who have contributed to this debate. The Tax Laws Amendment (Transfer of Provisions) Bill 2010 repeals five areas of income tax law, adding up to 149 pages of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, and rewrites them into the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and, in one case, into the Taxation Administration Act 1953. The bill does not make any major policy changes to the provisions it rewrites. Indeed, the changes it makes are mostly to the location of the provisions, to their structure and to their text. But, still, those changes are important.

The government is committed to having a single income tax assessment act for Australia within a reasonable time. The benefits of achieving that might not be noticed by many, but they will be appreciated by those taxpayers and tax practitioners who have to work with the income tax law, a most difficult piece of legislation. Achieving a single assessment act will reduce the complexity of that legislation, and this bill takes an important step towards achieving that goal, so it is pleasing to see that other members have taken an interest in this matter, which has not always had the profile that it deserves. I commend this bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

Ordered that this bill be reported to the House without amendment.