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Thursday, 17 June 2010
Page: 3596

Senator LUDWIG (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) (9:55 AM) —I move:

That these bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speeches read as follows—

Excise Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010

This Bill seeks to establish in legislation an increase in the excise applying to aviation fuel.

On 11 May 2010, the Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan, announced as part of the Federal Budget that the excise on aviation fuel would increase by 0.702 cents per litre on and from 1 July 2010. This will see the excise on aviation gasoline and aviation kerosene rise from 2.854 cents per litre to 3.556 cents per litre. The excise-equivalent customs duty on comparable imported aviation fuel will be increased by the same amount.

All of the funds raised through this levy will go directly to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Australia’s aviation safety regulator.

The legislation that I introduce today will bring the increase in excise into effect and, together with the Customs Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010, will provide an extra $89.9 million over four years to fund critically important safety activities.

The funds will be used to recruit almost 100 additional frontline safety staff including safety specialists, safety analysts and airworthiness inspectors. This will allow CASA to expand its surveillance activities and fulfil its increasingly complex regulatory responsibilities.

This long-term funding will also ensure that CASA can continue random testing for alcohol and other drugs within the aviation industry; invest in the development and maintenance of safety standards; and provide expanded and ongoing training for its staff.

Full details of the Excise Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010 and the Customs Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010 are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

Customs Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010

The Customs Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010 is the second of the related Bills, which gives effect to increased rates of duty for aviation fuel.

This Bill will increase the rates of excise equivalent customs duty for imported aviation gasoline and aviation kerosene, by 0.702 cents per litre, to 3.556 cents per litre. The increased rates of customs duty will apply to aviation fuel imported from all countries, including aviation fuel imported under any of Australia’s Free Trade Agreements.

These increases are complementary to the amendments contained in the Excise Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010 and will ensure that the rates of customs duty on imported aviation fuel are the same as the rates of excise duty on aviation fuel, when produced in Australia.

The increased revenue from imported aviation fuel will contribute to an increase in funding for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority that will enable the Authority to meet its core safety responsibilities.

As with the amendments to the excise applying to aviation fuel, the amendments to the Customs Tariff Act 1995 will take effect from 1 July 2010.

Debate (on motion by Senator Ludwig) adjourned.