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Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Page: 4752


Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (18:56): I move government business notice of motion No. 2:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the Tax laws Amendment (Managed Investment Trust Withholding Tax) Bill 2012, allowing it to be considered during this period of sittings.

I might take the opportunity, Senator Cormann, to briefly put on the record the reasons for the exemption from the cut-off.

Senator Cormann: Take 20 minutes.

Senator WONG: I won't take 10 or 20 minutes, I promise.

Senator Cormann: Feel free.

Senator WONG: I am sure you would want me to take 20 minutes, but I shall not do that. The government are moving to exempt the Tax Laws Amendment (Managed Investment Trust Withholding Tax) Bill 2012 from the cut-off. The first point about that is that the government made very clear in its budget the reason for this bill. It changes the tax regime for managed investment trusts to increase the trusts' final withholding tax from 7.5 per cent to 15 per cent on fund payments. The amendments apply from 1 July 2012. This is obviously the last occasion on which this bill can be passed in order to give effect to that decision. Whilst the cut-off is something that I know the Senate regards as important in terms of scrutiny of legislation, I note that given the fact that this was included as a budget decision, given that Senator Cormann has been issuing a multiplicity of press releases on this point and given that this is a reasonably simple proposition, I suggest that it is not supportable for the opposition to suggest that they have not had time to consider this legislation. I commend the motion to the Senate.