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Wednesday, 3 October 1984
Page: 1559


Mr SPENDER(12.50 a.m.) —Madam Chair, I will be brief on clauses 1 to 3. Two of these clauses are agreed to as they are purely machinery clauses dependent upon later clauses. One is not agreed to, and that is clause 1. The effect of clause 1 is to change the penalty interest rates which are now proposed under the Bill. It is proposed that the period of grace for payment of air navigation charges be reduced from 45 to 28 days and that the penalty charges shall be increased on any air navigation charges that are outstanding.


Mr Beazley —Madam Chair, I raise a point of order. I think the honourable gentleman is speaking to clause 4 and the first amendment. I think that clauses 1 to 3 are accepted.


The CHAIRMAN —Clauses 1 to 3 relate to the title, the commencement and the interpretation.


Mr Beazley —I will clarify the situation for my colleague who has been very co- operative with this legislation. Clauses 1 to 3 are uncontested, as I understand it, by the Opposition. The Opposition has an amendment to clause 4.


Mr SPENDER —I am sorry.

Clauses agreed to.

Clause 4 (Air Navigation Charges).


Mr SPENDER —Thank you, Madam Chair. What I have just said can now be incorporated into clause 4. I was looking at my own numbering and not the numbering in the Bill. I thank the Minister for Aviation (Mr Beazley) for pointing that out. Picking up where I was, I mentioned that the penalty rates will go up to 1.5 per cent. It is provided that it can be such other rate as may be prescribed. Rates will be compounded monthly, I think. That seems to us to be too high. I have put to the Minister, and I put it to this Committee, that the proper rate, bearing in mind the prevailing market climate-Bankcard not- withstanding-would be one per cent or such other amount as is prescribed. So if the Department of Aviation thought a higher amount was necessary it could change it from time to time. We would agree with compounding. That would leave the position quite open for the Department. But once we set into a statute 1.5 per cent or such other rate as may be prescribed, there is a tendency to take the 1. 5 per cent as being the rate that should apply. I should like to see the Department and the Government adopt a lower rate so that the Government can give more flexible and close attention to altering the rate according to conditions from time to time. I therefore formally move amendment No. (1) to clause 4 that has been circulated in my name. I move:

(1) Clause 4, page 2, lines 6 and 7, omit paragraph (c), substitute the following paragraph:

''(c) by omitting from sub-section (2) '1%' and substituting '1% or such other amount as is prescribed'; and''.