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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 478

Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Revenue and Financial Services) (10:42): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Today, I introduce a bill to enable the tax deductibility of donations to the Bourke Street Fund, following the senseless and vicious attack in Melbourne on 20 January 2017. In doing so the Commonwealth parliament is working with the Victorian government to support the immediate families of the deceased, as well as those injured and their immediate families.

Australians are rightly as one in our condemnation of this evil act. But we are also united in our empathy for those whose lives have been lost and our desire to console those for whom life will never be the same.

In doing so we are resolved to focus on how we might help.

Donations from across Australia are indeed a measure of our community's genuine desire to help and sustain the victims of this terrible crime.

As such to facilitate donations this bill amends the list of deductible gift recipients in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. The 2017 Bourke Street Fund Trust Account will be added to the act, for a five-year period, from 21 January 2017.

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

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.