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Monday, 20 August 2012
Page: 5819

Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaParliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water) (17:33): I cannot resist that invitation. Very briefly, from what I understand, Senator Cormann's position is that the opposition does not disagree with the cross-border transfer pricing position that existed as it went back to 1982, and so for the vast bulk of the period of the Howard government. Nor does the opposition disagree with it going forward into the future. The dispute here is really about the question of the retrospectivity of this particular piece of legislation.

Senator Cormann is right: I did intervene to mention the GST. This was not to talk about the GST generally but to talk about the fact that in the Tax Laws Amendment (2006 Measures No. 3) Act 2006 the previous Howard government did, in fact, make six years of retrospectivity with respect to a particular aspect of the introduction of the GST. So this is not the first time a government—Liberal or Labor—has introduced retrospective legislation. It is done very much in the exception, but the government believes that this is one of those rare cases where it is appropriate in these circumstances to apply a retrospective approach.

Senator Cormann: Two in two months.

Senator FARRELL: That is still rare, Senator Cormann. Given the vast number of bills that this government has introduced and passed since it came to power in 2007, that continues to be a very rare event. I indicate that the government does not support the amendment and will be voting in favour of the resolution.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN ( Senator Furner ): The question is that item 12 in schedule 1 stand as printed.

Question agreed to.