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Wednesday, 23 October 2002
Page: 5664

Senator MURPHY (9:59 AM) —With regard to the comments made by Senator Ludwig on the Inspector-General of Taxation Bill 2002, I share his view. Whilst I suspect this is a matter that would have been and is still important to taxpayers, it should not have taken the government this long to bring this bill forward. Indeed, my first reading of the bill would suggest to me that this bill is a nothing, that the proposals contained in the bill do not represent what the government promised the taxpayers; and I believe it ought to be referred to a committee, because this is an important issue and it needs to be got right. So I would not agree to the Inspector-General of Taxation Bill 2002 being included in the list of bills. It should be taken off it. It should be referred to a committee. Despite the fact that the government did promise that they would have this in place by the end of the year, that may not be the case as a result of a failure to bring in this bill in a much earlier time frame. But that is not the fault of the Senate: it is the responsibility of the government to bring in these bills in a timely manner so that they can be considered.

As I said, I have very serious concerns about what is proposed in the bill as it currently stands. I went back and checked some statements made by the Prime Minister on that particular proposal and I would suggest to the government that what the Prime Minister proposed to the people of this country about an inspector-general for taxation is certainly not represented in the form of this bill. So I oppose the motion on the basis that it contains the Inspector-General of Taxation Bill 2002.