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Wednesday, 13 June 1984
Page: 2978

Senator Walsh —On 17 November 1983 (Hansard, page 2760) Senator Watson asked me, as the Minister representing the Treasurer, the following question without notice:

Since the last increase in the number of Taxation Boards of Review was in 1950 and there has been a significant increase in the number of assessments, the complexity of taxation law and the number of objections since then, will the Government give consideration to appointing additional boards of review to handle the backlog of references awaiting decision by the three three-member taxation boards of review?

The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Government is aware of the significant increase in the complexity of the taxation law and the increase in the number of objections since the creation of Taxation Board of Review No. 3 in 1950.

Consideration has been given over the intervening years to an increase in the number of Boards of Review but no decision has ever been taken to do so.

I draw the honourable senator's attention to Report No. 17 of the Administrative Review Council. It deals with the review of taxation decisions by Boards of Review. The report is presently being considered by officials of the Attorney-General's Department and the Australian Taxation Office for the purpose of making appropriate recommendations to the Government. The question of additional Boards will be considered in the light of the recommendations.

I have been informed by the Commissioner of Taxation that procedures before the Boards of Review are being streamlined so that the Boards now have the capacity to review more cases and to review them more quickly.


Senator Grimes —On 7 May 1984 (Hansard, page 1626) Senator Richardson asked me, as Minister representing the Minister for Health, a question without notice concerning the closure of the Ciba-Geigy pharmaceutical plant at Smithfield.

The Minister for Health has provided the following information:

In the news release concerning closure of its pharmaceutical manufacturing plant at Smithfield, Ciba-Geigy Australia Limited stated:

The Company wishes to assure the community that there will be no disruption to the supply of products currently sourced in Australia.

Discussions have been held between Ciba-Geigy and the Department of Health to ensure the smooth transition from products manufactured locally to imported products in order that patients in this country will not suffer from a lack of drugs produced at Smithfield.

Closure of the plant at Smithfield is part of a general restructuring of the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry which has also seen in recent times the opening of substantial new pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in Victoria and Queensland with resultant job opportunities at those plants.