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Wednesday, 23 March 1994
Page: 2089


Senator COULTER (4.58 p.m.) —On behalf of Senator Kernot, I move:

1.Page 31, after clause 56, insert the following Division:

"Division 8A—Natural Heritage Conservation Organisation Rebate

  Object of Division

"56A. The object of this Division is to provide a rebate of tax for gifts of real property to Natural Heritage Conservation Organisations.

Outline

"56B. Subsection 78(2) of the Principal Act is amended by inserting the following after `Gifts of heritage properties to National Trust' in the outline:

Type of Deduction Entitlement Valuation Rules Ancillary

to Deduction Provisions

Gifts of real property to (8A) (13),(14),(15) (16)

Natural Heritage

Conservation Organisations

Index

"56C. Subsection 78(3) of the Principal Act is amended by:

  (a)omitting `Apportionment of deductions under subsection (6),(7) or (8)' and substituting `Apportionment of deductions under subsection (6),(7),(8) or (8A)'; and

(b)omitting `(4)-Table 6' under `Conservation bodies' and substituting `(4)-Table 6, (8A)'; and

(c)omitting `(4)-Table 6' under `Environmental organisations' and substituting `(4)-Table 6, (8A)'; and

(d)omitting `(4)-Table 6' under `Nature organisations' and substituting `(4)-Table 6, (8A)'; and

(e)inserting:

`Natural Heritage Conservation Organisations' (8A)".

Deductions for gifts—listed funds, authorities and institutions

"56D. Paragraph 78(4)(f) of the Principal Act is amended by omitting `(6),(7) or (8)' substituting `(6),(7),(8) or (8A)'.

Deductions for gifts—ancillary funds

"56E. Paragraph 78(5)(f) of the Principal Act is amended by omitting `(6),(7) or (8)' and substituting `(6),(7),(8) or (8A)'.

Deductibility of real property

"56F. Section 78 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting the following subsection after subsection (8):

Deductions for gifts of real property to Natural Heritage Conservation Organisations

`(8A) A gift by a taxpayer to a Natural Heritage Conservation Organisation referred to in section 78AB is an allowable deduction for the year of income in which the gift was made if:

(a)the gift is property consisting of land or an interest in land; and

(b)the value of the gift is $2 or more; and

(c)the property was accepted by the Natural Heritage Conservation Organisation; and

(d)the gift is not a testamentary gift; and

(e)the special valuation conditions set out in subsection (13) are complied with.

Gifts of property—special valuation

  "56G.Subsection 78(13) of the Principal Act is amended by omitting `(6),(7) and (8)' (wherever occurring) and substituting `(6),(7),(8) and (8A)'.

Value of gifts

  "56H.Subsection 78(14) of the Principal Act is amended by:

(a)omitting `(6),(7) and (8)' (wherever occurring) and substituting `(6),(7),(8) and (8A)'; and

(b)inserting the following word and subsubparagraph after subsubparagraph (b)(ii)(C):

`or(b)(ii)(D)a Natural Heritage Conservation Organisation referred to in subsection (8A);'.

Value of conditional gift

"56I.Subsection 78(15) of the Principal Act is amended by omitting `(6),(7) and (8)', wherever occurring and substituting `(6),(7),(8) and (8A)'.

Apportionment of deduction

"56J.Subsection 78(16) of the Principal Act is amended by omitting `(6),(7) or (8)', wherever occurring and substituting `(6),(7),(8) or (8A)'.

Classification as a Natural Heritage Conservation Organisation

"56K.Section 78AB of the Principal Act is amended by inserting the following subsection after subsection (3):

Environment Minister and Treasurer may classify as a Natural Heritage Conservation Organisation

`(3A)In giving a direction under subsection (3), the Environment Minister and the Treasurer may classify the body and its gift fund as a Natural Heritage Conservation Organisation.'.

Limitation on certain deductions

"56L.After section 79C of the Principal Act the following section is inserted:

Exception to limitation on certain deductions

`79CA. Section 79C does not apply to deductions allowable under subsection 78(8A).'.

This amendment seeks to insert a new division into the legislation. As explained at the second reading stage, it is to provide a rebate scheme to those people who provide gifts of real property to natural heritage conservation organisations. It anticipates they would be registered and recognised in an appropriate way. As I indicated earlier, it gives effect to many of the things that, as I understand it, are quite dear to the heart of the opposition in particular, in that, recognising that government, with its limited resources, is incapable of providing the sorts of protection for important areas that it might otherwise wish to do, it is appropriate that private sources of funds be found to set aside areas which are recognised as important. If people are prepared to donate areas of land in these key areas, it is appropriate that government might, at a much lower cost to government, provide a rebate scheme for these sorts of donations.

  I also pointed out at the second reading stage that this is by no means unique. We are not breaking new ground here. This type of provision is already in the tax law of the United States and the United Kingdom. I think both those countries could claim to be, if anything, in terms of the Right-Left spectrum, even more conservative than the present Australian Labor government. So there is a precedent for this type of arrangement. It is an extremely valuable addition to this legislation. It would provide a mechanism by which other areas of land which cannot otherwise be put aside because of limited government finance could be put aside at much lower cost to government through such a rebate scheme.

  Therefore, I very strongly urge the acceptance of this amendment, which appears to be an extremely long amendment, but is simply a matter of crossing the t's and dotting the i's of what is essentially a rebate scheme for donations of land.

  Progress reported.


The PRESIDENT —Before I call Senator Woods, I remind honourable senators that this is his first speech and, therefore, I ask that the usual courtesies be extended to him.