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Notice given 8 December 2005

1434  Senator Murray: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer—With reference to the following statements in the Australian Taxation Office media release of 17 November 2005, relating to the Government’s transition to retirement pensions program: ‘The general anti-avoidance provisions will not apply where taxpayers are simply commencing a transition to retirement pension, and making salary sacrifice contributions to superannuation’ and ‘We would only be concerned where accessing the pension or undertaking the salary sacrifice may be artificial or contrived’:

(1) (a) Does drawing a superannuation pension over the age of 55 while simultaneously employed, and salary sacrificing the majority of employment income to minimise or avoid income tax, constitute tax avoidance under Part IVa of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 ; if not, why not.

(2) What constitutes an artificial or contrived salary sacrifice when accessing a superannuation pension.

(3) Does allowing employed pensioners to avoid taxation by channelling income into superannuation contributions shift, unfairly, the taxation burden onto younger taxpayers who are unable to draw a pension.

 

 (4) How many former Australian Commonwealth public sector employees, rehired by the public sector, are currently drawing a superannuation pension while simultaneously being employed full-time and channelling a majority of their employment income into a lower taxed superannuation contribution.

1443  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—For each of the financial years 2002-03 to 2004-05 to date:

(1) How many Suspected Illegal Entry Vessels (SIEV) have been detected in Australian waters.

(2) How many SIEV were first detected by: (a) Australian Customs Service (ACS); (b) Australian Fisheries Management Authority; (c) other federal agencies; (d) state or local government; and (e) other non-government agencies.

(3) For each SIEV: (a) on what date was the entry detected; (b) how many SIEVs were detected in each entry; (c) how did ACS detect the SIEV (i.e. Coastwatch aerial surveillance, reports from another government agency, reports from an individual, any other manner); (d) where was the SIEV detected; (e) did ACS or Coastwatch intercept the SIEV; (f) on what date was the SIEV intercepted; (g) were any other agencies involved in the interception of the SIEV; if not, why not; and if not, was another government agency able to intercept the SIEV; (h) was the SIEV impounded or turned around; (i) what was the number of persons on the SIEV; (j) what was the number of persons detained from the SIEV; (k) what was the number of persons on each SIEV who have had criminal charges brought against them and what were the number and nature of the charges; (l) how many of those charges resulted in a prosecution; (m) how many prosecutions resulted in a successful conviction and what was the sentence; (n) if the SIEV was impounded: (i) has it been since released, (ii) has it been destroyed, or (iii) is it still impounded; (o) if it was released, to whom; and (p) if it was not impounded, what was done with the SIEV after it had been intercepted.