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Monday, 1 December 2008
Page: 7762

Senator JOYCE (Leader of the Nationals in the Senate) (9:15 PM) —I am really going to enjoy this. Guess what, Minister? Land is never, ever a depreciable asset, so excluding land from the definition of a depreciable asset is to state the bleeding obvious. It never was, never is, never will be a depreciable asset. It is certainly a capital asset. What you have said shows the government’s complete misunderstanding of tax law. They have said, ‘We’re going to prove to you that land is not a capital asset because land is not a depreciable asset.’ You just said it in one: it is not a depreciable asset. Depreciable assets are assets such as trucks, automobiles, certain sheds, but they are not land. They never were. Saying, ‘Land is not a depreciable asset; therefore it is not a capital asset,’ is like saying, ‘A horse is not a snake; therefore it is not a mammal.’ It is a mixed metaphor and completely extraneous. So you are wrong. Once more, I direct you to the section that talks about 2007-08 to 2011-12 and ask you to clearly point out to me where in that section within schedule 8, ‘Capital expenditure for the establishment of trees in carbon sink forests’, it explicitly excludes land.