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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 12511


Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (12:20): I think this is my first opportunity to speak with you in the chair, Mr Deputy Speaker Scott, so congratulations on your appointment. I begin by thanking all of those members who have contributed to this debate on the Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 5) Bill 2012.

Schedule 1 amends the definition of 'eligible no-till seeder' for the purpose of the conservation tillage refundable tax offset, which is located in subdivision 385-J of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. This will allow primary producers access to the conservation tillage refundable tax offset where they purchase only a no-till seeding tool to attach to their existing cart. This small but important change will enable more primary producers to purchase no-till farming equipment without requiring them to replace their existing carts. This measure will help to achieve the government's objective of encouraging no-till farming practices, which can reduce emissions, increase soil carbon and improve productivity.

Schedule 2 will phase out the mature-age worker tax offset from 1 July 2012 for taxpayers who were not already 55 or older on or before 30 June 2012—that is, those born on or after 1 July 1957. The measure will not take away the mature-age worker tax offset from those people already receiving it. The government will improve value for money by phasing this offset out over time and investing in better-targeted programs, while protecting those people who already rely on the offset in their household budget.

Schedule 3 amends the excise law by putting in place a robust and sustainable compliance regime for gaseous fuels—that is, liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG; liquefied natural gas, or LNG; and compressed natural gas, or CNG—while keeping compliance costs lower than the fuel tax regime that applies to liquid fuels. The amendments ensure that suppliers of duty-free gaseous fuels, whether licensed or unlicensed, keep adequate records and provide access to ATO officials if required. There is an appropriate penalty regime to encourage compliance. The amendments also clarify the tax treatment of gaseous fuels used in forklifts and fuel manufacture.

Schedule 4 clarifies the Commissioner of Taxation's power to make legislative instruments to deal with the treatment of gaseous fuel blends instead of relying on legislative exemptions.

Schedule 5 amends the deductible gift recipient provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Taxpayers can claim an income tax deduction for gifts to organisations that are deductible gift recipients. The measure adds one new organisation to the act—namely, the Diamond Jubilee Trust Australia. Making this organisation a deductible gift recipient will assist it in attracting public support for its activities. The trust has been established to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee. The purpose of the trust is to deliver charitable projects for the support of individuals, with a focus on the poor and disadvantaged, through providing collected funds to the United Kingdom based Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

Schedule 6 amends the wine equalisation tax producer rebate provisions to ensure that a wine producer cannot claim a rebate for wine used in manufacture except where the previous producer or supplier provides a notice that a previous producer is not entitled to the rebate on part or the whole of that wine. The measure addresses a problem in the current law where multiple rebates can be claimed on the same quantity of wine. The amendments apply to assessable dealings on or after 1 December 2012 or the day on which this act receives royal assent, whichever is the later.

I note that the member for Groom has foreshadowed that he will be moving some amendments, but I also understand that, as a consequence of discussions that have been held since that time and an offer that has been made by the government to withdraw from this bill schedules 3 and 4, those that relate to gaseous fuels, this bill will proceed with the support of the opposition and that the member for Groom will not be moving the amendments that he has foreshadowed. I thank the opposition for their cooperation in this matter.

I do put on record, though, that the government does believe that schedules 3 and 4 of the bill both represent important improvements to Australia's excise system and that we will seek to reintroduce the schedules at another time. I foreshadow, then, that we will be looking to amend the bill to remove schedules 3 and 4 so that the remaining schedules of the bill can proceed. I seek leave to continue my remarks at a later hour.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.