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Monday, 30 August 2004
Page: 26760


Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 24 February 2004:

(1) In relation to the proposed changes to duty free arrangements announced on 18 September, 2003 (media release reference 130/03): (a) what modelling or analysis has been performed or commissioned by the Commonwealth to determine the cost to the Commonwealth of these proposed changes; (b) who performed the modelling or analysis; (c) can a copy of the modelling or analysis be provided; if not, why not; and (d) for each of the following financial years: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08, what is the projected cost to the Commonwealth of the proposed changes.

(2) In relation to the proposed changes to duty free arrangements, can details be provided of consultations held by the Commonwealth with state and territory governments since 1 July 2002, and specifically: (a) the date and location of meetings held on this issue; (b) the names and positions of those who attended each meeting; (c) whether a record was made of each meeting; (d) key outcomes of each meeting; and (e) can a copy of the meeting records can be provided; if not, why not.

(3) (a) What research, analysis or modelling has been performed or commissioned by the Commonwealth to determine the impact on visitor numbers of the proposed changes to duty free arrangements; (b) who performed the modelling or analysis; (c) can a copy of the research modelling or analysis can be provided; if not, why not; and (d) for each of the following financial years: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08, what projected change in visitor numbers would result from the implementation of these changes.


Senator Minchin (Minister for Finance and Administration) —The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The proposed changes to the duty free concessions were costed by Treasury and estimates of their cost to the Commonwealth were provided on p.56 of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook2003-04.

No significant change in the amount of excisable goods brought in to Australia is expected as a result of the proposed changes to the duty free arrangements because these changes do not result in any increase in the amount of excisable goods that travellers can import duty free.

(2) The Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer wrote to the State and Territory Treasurers on 18 September 2003 and 22 March 2004 seeking their agreement to the proposed changes, as per the Intergovernmental Agreement on Commonwealth-State Financial Relations.

(3) The proposed changes to the duty free concessions principally impact on Australian residents returning from overseas and were not expected to change visitor numbers. Hence, there was no modelling undertaken to assess the impact of the proposed changes on the number of visitors to Australia.