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Friday, 7 September 1984
Page: 630

Senator Dame MARGARET GUILFOYLE(9.08) —I briefly indicate that the Opposition will not support the Australian Democrats amendment. The Opposition made clear in the second reading debate and in the amendment that we moved to the motion that the Bills be read a second time its attitude with regard to the changes that have been made. We stressed our belief that the timing was wrong for this measure. This is the Government's Budget and this legislation is a measure of the Government's judgment on these matters. We have made it clear that we do not agree with that judgment. However, we do not feel that we agree more with the attitude of the Australian Democrats in rewriting the Government's approach to this measure.

We believe that it is inappropriate for a party that is not in government to talk of striking and phasing in a rate of tax in an area where the Government anticipates raising close to $50m. Not because we do not understand that there will be difficulties for the industry but rather because this is our general approach to Budget measures, we do not, on this occasion, support the approach that the Australian Democrats are taking in trying to strike a new rate which may or may not have more effects than the Democrats have put forward. I do not know why the rate of 2.5 per cent has been chosen or why it should have support. We have a Budget Bill before us, and we have made our attitude to it clear. The representations that we have had from the industry have given us some concern about the measure's effect. I have noted what the Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Walsh) said. The Opposition will not support the amendment.