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Monday, 8 October 1984
Page: 1434


Senator HARRADINE(10.23) — An amendment to be moved by Senator Messner on behalf of the Opposition has a similar effect to the amendments that are now under consideration. Some of these matters were dealt with in the second reading debate. To put the matter into perspective so that this is not seen as the action of one group in this place, I remind the Committee that this problem was raised with me by a number of people soon after the Victorian bushfires. I think I was the first to raise this matter in Parliament in May 1983 in a question directed to the Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Walsh). The Minister's response was clear and to the effect that the matter was worthy of consideration. He indicated that he would be taking up the question and providing a definitive answer. Obviously, from that point onwards the matter exercised not only the minds of people in this chamber-Senator Missen and others took up the matter vigorously-but also that of the Government. An announcement was virtually in the offing at about that time. Therefore, it would not be inconsistent with the Government's attitude to tax measures for this measure to be operative from 1 July 1982. It would cover the period in which these gifts were made out of the generosity of the hearts of the farmers, and others who were providing gifts rather than money to fire victims. I support the amendments moved by Senator Jack Evans or the foreshadowed amendment by Senator Messner, whichever is the more technically correct.