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Wednesday, 13 June 1984
Page: 2946


Senator WALSH (Minister for Resources and Energy)(5.37) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows-

The main purpose of this Bill is to amend the Excise Tariff Act 1921 to allow for changes in excise duty rates beyond the number of decimal places in the excise duty rates that existed prior to 23 November 1983. The Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1983 introduced new provisions into the Excise Tariff Act which have the effect of automatically indexing certain traditional excise duty rates in February and August of each financial year. These provisions had effect from 23 November 1983. They do not permit, however, a variation in the number of decimal places in the excise duty rates that are subject to indexation.

The amendments as proposed by clause 4 of this Bill will enable the Government from time to time to introduce a tariff proposal which intentionally changes the number of decimal places in an excise duty rate and which at the next application of indexation will not be automatically rounded to the number of decimal places that existed prior to 23 November 1983. The Government considers it necessary that the flexibility in the excise duty rates as proposed by this Bill be in place prior to the next indexation alteration which is to occur in August this year.

The opportunity has been taken to incorporate in this Bill two other amendments to the Excise Tariff Act and thus avoid the need for additional amending legislation. One is to incorporate Excise Tariff Proposals No. 1 (1984) which increased, on and from 1 January 1984, the excise duty on naturally occurring liquefied petroleum gas from $48.57 per kilolitre to $49.23 per kilolitre. This alteration followed the determination of a new average price for LPG by the Minister for Resources and Energy in accordance with Government policy. The other amendment is of a technical nature and inserts a standing provision into the principal Act which covers the imposition and application provisions usually included in Bills amending the Schedule to the Act. This will avoid repeating the provisions in each future Bill proposing to amend the Schedule to the Act.

Financial Impact Statement

The measures contained in clauses 3 and 4 of the Bill have no direct financial impact. The increase in the excise duty on naturally occurring liquefied petroleum gas will result in an estimated increase to Government revenue of $600 ,000 for the remainder of the 1983-84 financial year and $1.2m in a full year. I commend the Bill to the Senate.