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Thursday, 14 November 2002
Page: 6419


Senator MURRAY (4:48 PM) —I will take the guidance of the chair. There is no running sheet. On sheet 2686 there are a few amendments which I should take together. I suggest—and I am happy if the chair disagrees—that items (2) and (5) be taken together and that items (3) and (4) be taken on their own. If any of those get up, I would have thought that item (1) would follow.


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Cherry)—You are certainly welcome to do that, Senator Murray.


Senator MURRAY —by leave—I move:

(2) Page 8 (after line 11), at the end of Schedule 1, add:

Part 5—Amendments having effect on and from 1 July 2003

9 Schedule (definitions)

Insert:

low alcohol winemeans a beverage which:

(a) is the product of the complete or partial fermentation of fresh grapes or products derived solely from fresh grapes; and

(b) complies with any requirements of the A New Tax System (Wine Equalisation Tax) regulations made for the purposes of section 31-8 of the A New Tax System (Wine Equalisation Tax) Act 1999, relating to grape wine; and

(c) contains more than 1.15% by volume of alcohol but not more than 8% by volume of alcohol.

10 Schedule (after item 2)

Insert:

2A.

LOW ALCOHOL WINE

$3.00 per litre of alcohol

(5) Page 8 (after line 11), at the end of the bill, add:

Schedule 2—Amendment of the A New Tax System (Wine Equalisation Tax) Act 1999

Part 1—Amendments having effect on and from 1 July 2003

1 At the end of subsection 31-2(1)

Add:

; and (c) contains more than 8% by volume of ethyl alcohol.

I have circulated an explanatory memorandum. I indicate that everyone in the debate had received a draft well prior, but this is slightly different. The effect of it is to provide for the very first time a low-alcohol wine proposition. The difficulty we face as a chamber is that it would put it in the excise regime. I am sure the government will have something to say on that account. The purpose of that was to avoid difficulties of administration. I have no objection to there being a low-alcohol WET opportunity, but since WET is ad valorem I am not sure how that would work out. I gather from the minister's remarks that the government is likely to turn it down but, if Labor showed any excitement in their voices and a desire to support it, I would then motivate it much more strongly. But I would like to get an initial reaction to see whether I should bother wasting my time.