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Tuesday, 9 March 2004
Page: 21113

Senator COONAN (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) (4:42 PM) —During the debate on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Amendment Bill 2004 Senator McLucas asked: firstly, have any operators paid GST on the environment management charge; secondly, what will happen to the moneys collected; and, thirdly, will the moneys be refunded? The answers to the questions are as follows. In respect of question one—have any operators paid GST on the environment management charge?—the answer is yes. In respect of questions two and three—what happens to the moneys collected and will the moneys be refunded?—the matter is properly one for consideration by the Australian Taxation Office. That will be a matter, obviously, that will be kept under consideration. When, and if, a request is made, the Australian tax office will consider all the circumstances in coming to a decision.

The note I have here says that there has been a check made—presumably by Senator Ian Macdonald—with GBRMPA, AMPTO and the Australian Taxation Office about any operator paying GST on the environment management charge. All confirmed that one operator has, on their accountant's advice, paid the GST on the environment management charge since the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act came into effect on 1 July 2000. The Australian tax office has further advised that a second operator could have remitted the GST. GBRMPA and AMPTO would not necessarily be aware of this. Not having taken part in this debate, I trust that I have provided information to the Senate that sums up the outstanding queries.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.