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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 33

(Question No. 1559)

Senator Sheil asked the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce, upon notice, on 4 December 1986:

(1) What is the excise on eucalyptus oil.

(2) What is the proof of Australian eucalyptus oil.

(3) What is the average proof of imported eucalyptus oils.

(4) Have any Australian eucalyptus oil distilleries closed down since the imposition of excise.

(5) As we are being urged to `Buy Australian', what is the Government doing to assist the local industry.

Senator Button —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) Excise duty is not payable on eucalyptus oil. In accordance with Section 5 of the Excise Tariff Act duties of excise are imposed on all goods dutiable under the Schedule to the Act. Eucalyptus oil is not a product that falls within the description of goods listed in the Schedule and therefore no excise duties are payable.

(2) Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil and as such is not a spirituous substance.

(3) See answer to question (2).

(4) As no excise duty has been imposed on eucalyptus oil, no changes which may have occurred in the industry can be attributed to imposition of excise duty.

(5) Eucalyptus oil is one of a number of inputs, described as essential oils, used in the flavours and fragrance industries in Australia. A number of companies refine eucalyptus oil in Australia and the quality of this oil is such that all local production is purchased by the local manufacturers of flavours and fragrances.

Imports of eucalyptus oil are necessary, nevertheless, because the local industry does not have sufficient capacity to supply all the Australian requirements for this oil.