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Friday, 19 April 1985
Page: 1261

Senator ZAKHAROV —Is the Minister representing the Treasurer aware of the dissatisfaction of some personnel at Australian Antarctic stations about the level of tax paid while they are absent from Australia? What taxation rebate is available to these personnel? Does it adequately compensate for the isolation and harsh working and living conditions in the Australian Antarctic Territory?

Senator WALSH —I have a note from the Treasurer on this. The Treasurer says that he is not aware of any dissatisfaction of the type to which Senator Zakharov has referred. I am told that people who reside continuously at Antarctic stations for more than half a financial year are eligible for the special zone A area rebate, which is $875 this year and $938 in subsequent years. I am not sure what that means. The honourable senator will recall that the Government increased this rebate from $750 to the present limits in the 1984-85 Budget. In the case of married taxpayers the rebate is increased by 50 per cent of the relevant dependants' rebates. Antarctic personnel also receive allowances over and above their basic salaries to compensate them for the isolation and the harsh conditions under which they work and live. In the Treasurer's view, the income tax zone rebate is no more than a general concession in re- cognition of those conditions.