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Thursday, 28 March 1985
Page: 969

Senator CROWLEY —Is the Minister representing the Treasurer aware of the problems facing the many people in this country involved in arts and crafts in relation to the current tax provisions for these industries? Is he aware that, in response to submissions on behalf of the Crafts Council of South Australia and the Potters Guild of South Australia, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, Mr Cohen, advised me that the Treasurer has agreed to establish a working party to examine the question of sales tax on crafts? Can the Minister say at what stage the working party is, and when it might provide a report of its deliberations?

Senator WALSH —I understand the present sales tax law applies to sales tax on items which are designated as craft items, but not on art items. I am not sure how one tells the difference. It is known that the Government will conduct a comprehensive review of the tax system this year. I am not aware specifically of the matters Mr Cohen apparently raised earlier, but I am advised by the Treasurer that his view is that it is appropriate to defer consideration of that type of individual request for exemption from sales tax pending the decisions which will be reached in the overall review of the Australian taxation structure. I am further advised that the question of the sales tax on craft items has been listed for inclusion when the classification of goods for indirect tax purposes is being dealt with in that review.