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Thursday, 25 August 1994
Page: 355


Senator SHORT (12.49 p.m.) —The Excise Tariff Legislation Amendment Bill 1994 is a routine housekeeping bill. It is non-contentious and the opposition supports it. The first item in the bill, which is formally known as Excise Tariff Proposal No. 4 (1993), proposes to change the word `project', in relation to offshore and onshore oil projects, to the word `field'. This is apparently necessary for definitional purposes as the word `field' is the commonly used industry term whereas the word `project' has no industry or statutory definition or meaning.

  This amendment should clarify and alleviate concern over exactly what is or is not eligible for exemption from the crude oil excise duty. As I understand it, it has the support of the affected oil producers. The second item in the bill, Excise Tariff Proposal No. 1 (1994), proposes to correct the cross-references in the Excise Tariff Amendment Act (No. 2) 1993 to the Customs and Excise Legislation Amendment Act 1993.

   This correction arises because of Senate amendments to the latter bill which resulted in that bill being renumbered. A notification of this alteration was made by the Comptroller-General for Customs on 20 January 1994. The government has stated that the proposals contained in the bill have no direct financial impact. The opposition accepts that. Therefore, as I said at the outset, the opposition will not be opposing the measures contained in this bill.