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Wednesday, 23 March 1994
Page: 2041

Senator WATSON (12.35 p.m.) —I have some issues to raise in respect of clauses 7, 8 and 9—car parking benefits. Will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (Senator Sherry) confirm that it is possible in respect of an individual car parking space that a fringe benefit tax may be payable twice because, for example, within the given hours, two cars may occupy that particular location? I also draw the committee's attention to the high administrative costs involved in identifying the movement of vehicles in and out of car parking spaces.

  In addition to that, I indicate that clause 8 changes the definition of all-day parking in a commercial parking station, so that only daytime rates—7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.—can be used and kerbside parking meters cannot be used. Obviously, that is a very necessary amendment to remove some confusion. However, I submit that commercial parking rates may vary from location to location. It may be that a far better way to resolve the uncertainty in this area would be to adopt a standard rate that would apply irrespective of the employer's business hours.

  Given the arbitrariness of the one kilometre radius from the premises to a commercial parking station, I ask that the government give consideration—perhaps not in this legislation—to adopting a standard rate as a preferred option to the one that is currently before the Senate. I am not insisting that that be accepted at the present time, but perhaps it could be at a later date.