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Wednesday, 27 May 1987
Page: 3426

Mr BARRY JONES (Minister for Science and Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce)(4.36) —The Government opposes the amendment moved by the honourable member for Dawson (Mr Braithwaite) for the practical reason that it would have the effect of deferring the introduction of the fee. As the whole purpose of the fee is the recovery of the costs of processing refund applications, and as those costs are running at about $6m a year, the Government cannot accept the deferral of implementation inherent in the proposed amendment. The cost must be covered from somewhere. That can be either from the person seeking the refund, or it can be spread across the community as a whole. I would have thought that the logic and the economic reality of the situation are that the legislation must be carried in its original form. Therefore, the Government proposes to oppose the amendment. How I can keep on talking about it until 5 o'clock, I am not quite sure.

Mr Moore —We could have a division.

Mr BARRY JONES —We could have several. Perhaps the honourable member would like to move for a procedural division, or even two. The Government's proposal will apply to applications received after 13 May 1987--

Mr Moore —You told us that.

Mr BARRY JONES —Well, yes, it was announced on that day--

Mr Porter —On a point of order, Mr Chairman: The Minister is clearly being boring and repetitive and I ask you to rule him out of order.

The CHAIRMAN — Order! There is no point of order. I call the Minister.

Mr BARRY JONES —It was announced on that day and, according to the procedures that have been adopted over the years-hallowed procedures adopted by previous governments, and carried out, I am sure, by the honourable member for Ryan (Mr Moore) during that happy period when he was Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs--

Mr Moore —Shangri-la.

Mr BARRY JONES —Indeed. The Government, with infinite regret, rejects the amendment.

Question put:

That the amendment (Mr Braithwaite's) be agreed to.