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Notice given 27 June 2002

Senator Murray: To move—That the following matters be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 May 2003, and that, in its recommendations, the committee take into account a preference to maintain overall budget neutrality within the alcohol taxation sector:

(1) The efficiency, equity and complexity of the existing structure (and relevant history) of Commonwealth, state and territory alcohol taxation (excluding goods and services tax) and related rebates, subsidies and grants being applied to each category of alcohol product, including:

(a) beer (low-, mid- and full-strength beer, in packaged and draught form);

(b) ready to drink alcohol products (below 10% alcohol by volume (abv)) currently taxed as ‘other excisable beverages’ under the Excise Tariff Act 1921 );

(c) wine, wine products and cider (currently subject to the wine equalisation tax (WET));

(d) spirits (including brandy) and ‘other excisable beverages exceeding 10% abv’; and

(e) any other alcohol products.

(2) Identification of the amount of Commonwealth taxation revenue collected in the 2001-02 financial year (and forecast to be collected over the next 10 years) on each category of alcohol product, including:

(a) the quantity of customs duty, excise duty and WET collected;

(b) the amounts of rebates, subsidies and grants paid; and

(c) the amounts of drawback of customs and excise duty paid on re-exports and exports.

(3) The effectiveness of the existing alcohol administration arrangements relating to taxation collection, including whether or not the collection should be administered by a single administration agency.

(4) For the purpose of implementing alcohol taxation policy, the extent to which there is substitution between the various categories of alcoholic beverages, including (but not restricted to) issues such as whether substitution between alcoholic beverages is the same for each category of alcoholic beverage.

(5) The impact of the existing alcohol taxation arrangements for:

(a) the economy, employment, the environment and industry;

(b) beverage pricing and cost structures;

(c) the patterns of consumption, including the abuse, of the various categories of alcohol product;

(d) the health and welfare of regional, rural and remote communities (including the funding of alcohol rehabilitation and education); and

(e) the flexibility and sustainability of government revenue.

(6) An examination of selected international alcohol taxation regimes (and recent overseas tax reviews) in order to identify the best options for alcohol taxation policy, legislation and administration in Australia.

On 14 November 2002

Business of the Senate—Order of the Day

Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee

Report to be presented on the provisions of the Telecommunications Competition Bill 2002. ( Referred upon the introduction of the bill in the House of Representatives pursuant to Selection of Bills Committee report .)

On 19 November 2002

Business of the Senate—Notice of Motion