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Wednesday, 25 September 2002
Page: 4850


Senator HOGG (2:11 PM) —My question is to Senator Coonan, the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Revenue. Can the minister precisely inform the Senate of her knowledge of, or role in, the imposition of the multimillion dollar tax hike on a shipment of ethanol belonging to the commercial competitors of Manildra Petroleum?


Senator COONAN (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) —Thank you, Senator Hogg, for the question. My role in relation to ethanol relates entirely to the administration, in part at least, of the new arrangements that have been announced. Apart from that, I have no role whatsoever.


Senator HOGG —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Was the Minister for Revenue informed of the circumstances of this case? Was she told of the details of the shipment already bought and loaded? In particular, was the minister told of the desire of the Prime Minister that nothing should be done which would affect the interests of Manildra?


Senator COONAN (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) —Thank you for the supplementary question, Senator Hogg. The answer that I gave to your first question does not vary but, in that respect I would add, as I have done throughout this week when asked about this matter, that this whole issue of Manildra has the Australian Labor Party barking up the wrong tree. It has been said— I have said it and I think anyone who has been asked a question about this has said it— that the arrangements do not benefit Manildra other than the fact that they are a producer of ethanol. There are other producers of domestic ethanol, and the arrangements in no way discriminate in favour of Manildra. Furthermore, as I said yesterday, Mr Honan in particular has had negotiations with the Labor Party. Indeed, all other stakeholders in relation to this matter have made representations, and that is as far as it can be taken. (Time expired)