Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 13 June 1984
Page: 2944

Senator JACK EVANS(5.21) —I draw the attention of the Minister and of the Committee to the fact that the reporting of progress, which would have the effect of delaying consideration of this Bill for 12 months, does not mean the end of legislation to combat cherry-picker schemes. There is a Bill in identical terms currently before the House of Representatives which received the unanimous support of the Senate and which is now simply awaiting the resolution of the House of Representatives for it to become law. So, in agreeing to this deferral, we would not stop action against cherry-pickers; such action would be effective from December 1983. That needs to be stressed. We already have effectively a Bill dealing with cherry-picker schemes which can be implemented very quickly. The deferment motion is simply to give the Commissioner of Taxation the opportunity to go down the path to which I referred earlier of pursuing these matters through the courts and, if in 12 months time it is discovered that he lacks the power to collect those taxes which have been evaded, the Senate would reconsider this Bill when it came before the Senate once more.

I stress again that Senator Mason and I hold firm in our belief that the Government's search and thrust to recover taxes which have been avoided is undiminished. We will support the Government at every opportunity in its endeavours to pick up that avoided and evaded tax. The deferment motion does not mean that these people would escape through the net. It simply means that the Commissioner would, for the next 12 months, pursue them through the courts, following which the Senate would reconsider the powers that may be needed to be added to the Commissioner's armoury to pick up that lost tax.

The CHAIRMAN —To avoid confusion on this matter, the motion before the Chair at the moment is that the Committee report progress and seek leave to sit again. The question of when that debate is resumed, if ever, is a matter for the Senate when the matter has been referred to it. There is no motion before the Chair about the length of time before the Committee considers it again.