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Monday, 29 August 1994
Page: 487

Senator MICHAEL BAUME —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—


    (i)the forecast that the 1991 Federal Budget proceeds of the sale of the Australian National Line (ANL) would be received by the 1992-93 Budget year,

    (ii)the then responsible Minister for Transport and Communications (Senator Collins) failed to proceed with this sale and had not even arranged for a due diligence report, which was not undertaken until initiated by his successor in March 1994,

    (iii)the proceeds of the proposed sale of ANL were subsequently included in revenue to be received in the 1994-95 Budget,

    (iv)ANL's financial position has now deteriorated so seriously that an asset the Government said it could sell in the 1991 Budget is now unsaleable,

    (v)on 29 June 1994, the Minister for Transport (Mr Brereton) said that a failure to sell both ANL and the Federal Airports Corporation would lead to higher Government taxes and changes to make up the revenue loss,

    (vi)in the week beginning 21 August 1994, Senator Collins refused to answer Senator Baume's question as to when the Government would be announcing the increases in taxes and charges Mr Brereton says are needed to make up for the failure to sell ANL, and

    (vii)any such increase in taxes and charges would be on top of the 1994-95 Budget's 10 per cent rise in total tax revenue, representing the largest real tax rise in 10 years; and

  (b)regrets that Australian taxpayers will now have to carry the burden of the failure of Senator Collins to implement the 1991 Budget decision to sell ANL, which is simply the latest example of the incompetence of this accident prone Minister.