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Wednesday, 9 October 1991
Page: 1499

Mr SNOWDON (-Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Communications)(10.03 a.m.) --I move:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The amendment will include two new clauses in the Aussat Repeal Bill 1991. With clause 5A, it is intended to put beyond doubt that Aussat Pty Ltd is not the Crown, does not represent the Crown and is not an instrumentality or an agent of the Crown. Clause 5B clarifies Aussat's status for income tax purposes by providing that Aussat is not and is taken never to have been a public authority for the purposes of paragraph 23D of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

This amendment puts Aussat's status in relation to the Crown and under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 beyond doubt. While the Government and the Australian Taxation Office have always regarded Aussat as a taxpayer, there is some doubt in the minds of bidders which the Government thinks requires clarification in order to eliminate any adverse impact on the sale of Aussat. Amending the Aussat Repeal Bill in this way does this quickly and effectively without risking delay to the sales process. I commend the amendment to the House and present the supplementary explanatory memorandum to the amendment.