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Monday, 13 February 2012
Page: 1001


Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:00): On behalf of the opposition it is my pleasure to speak on the Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No. 9) Bill, and I indicate at the outset that the coalition will be supporting this legislation. Like all tax law amendment bills it deals with a number of substantive taxation issues, which I am going to run through fairly briefly. Madam Deputy Speaker D'Ath, you can probably tell I am losing my voice, albeit slowly, but I hope it lasts the rest of the week. I have picked up whatever it is my three-year-old son, Angus, has. I think you would agree it would be less than efficient for me to lose my voice on something we all agree on at the start of a sitting week.

This bill deals with some changes to superannuation, some changes to capital gains tax and some changes to GST. It adds to the deductible gift recipient list and, finally, as is nearly always the case, it corrects some unintended errors and makes some tidying up provisions within the tax law generally. Very briefly, as we know this legislation was introduced late last year on 23 November by the then Assistant Treasurer, Mr Shorten. He outlined in some detail in the second reading speech the changes and the reasons for those changes with respect to superannuation.

Schedule 1 will allow certain superannuation fund members with lost super to more easily consolidate their funds through the use of an electronic portability form. It is outlined both in the second reading speech and in the explanatory memorandum how that will operate, and we regard this as a sensible initiative. Schedule 2 in three parts deals with capital gains tax. The essence of those changes is to allow entities in a restructure to use share-of-interest sale facilities without failing a requirement of certain capital gains tax rollovers. Also, as is pointed out, it provides capital gains tax demerger relief and there is also a provision to expand capital gains tax rollover to entities changing their incorporation.

With respect to the goods and services tax, the bill outlines two things with respect to GST. It implements some aspects of the Treasury review of the GST of financial supply provisions. It is pointed out that some of the changes can be dealt with in this bill and some can be dealt with by way of regulation. I understand that my friend and colleague the member for Blair, who follows these tax law amendment bills, I am sure, will be across this issue in some detail. Also in a separate section the bill clarifies the GST treatment of new residential premises. Without going into all the details it is another case where, I think, the member for Blair will confirm legislation is required to confirm the original intent of the GST legislation, in this case, following a court decision.

Finally, schedule 5 adds the Rhodes Trust to the deductible gift recipient list. Of course the Rhodes Trust raises funds to augment the existing Rhodes Scholarship program at Oxford. I also noticed from the then Assistant Treasurer's second reading speech that there is also a name change to another organisation. As I said at the start, schedule 6 deals with some miscellaneous amendments to correct some unintended errors with some technical corrections. On behalf of the opposition I commend the bill to House. As I said at the outset, we will be supporting this bill through both houses.