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Tuesday, 20 September 1994
Page: 963

Senator WATSON —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer. Is the minister aware that public infrastructure projects may be adversely affected where arrangements have been entered into in good faith on the basis of a previous tax office approach to what is known as the `rights' issue under section 51AD of the income tax act? Further, is the minister aware that this problem arises from the subsequent issue by the tax office of draft ruling TR94/ D37, which—surprise, surprise—unfortunately and unexplainably restricts eligibility to the general investment and development allowance? Given this reversal, does the minister acknowledge that major financing arrangements could be jeopardised if the new draft ruling, which has both a prospective and retrospective application, is issued in its present form?

Senator McMULLAN —It is a great pity that Senator Cook is not here. I am sure he does know that section of the act; but I do not. So the answer to the first two parts of the question is, `No, I am not aware of either of those things.' I undertake to refer the third and substantive part to the Treasurer and get a response as soon as I can.