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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1301


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate, Minister for Communications and Minister for the Arts) (20:55): I thank my Victorian colleagues for their contributions. As has been outlined, this bill—the Treasury Laws Amendment (Bourke Street Fund) Bill 2017—adds the Bourke Street Fund trust account as a deductible gift recipient specific listing. Organisations are listed by name as DGRs in division 30 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 only in exceptional circumstances and where they do not fit within the general categories available under the tax law. Obtaining DGR status helps the listed entities attract public financial support for their activities as taxpayers can claim an income tax deduction for gifts of $2 or more to DGR entities.

On 20 January 2017 a vicious and senseless attack took place in Bourke Street and elsewhere in the central business district of Melbourne. On 21 January 2017 the Victorian government announced the creation of a fund to provide financial support for the immediate families of the deceased and those injured as well as their immediate families. On 22 January the Prime Minister and the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services announced that the Australian government would work with the Victorian government to ensure that the fund received deductible gift recipient status and confirmed that the Commonwealth would contribute $100,000 to the fund. This is an appropriate way for the Commonwealth and this parliament to make a contribution and to support arrangements that will be of assistance to those injured and their immediate families. I commend the bill to the Senate.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Back ): Outside the standing orders, I ask all in the chamber to stand for a moment to reflect on and to respect the memory of those who have passed away and the families of those who are still struggling.

Honourable senators having stood in their places—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I thank the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.