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Wednesday, 2 December 1998
Page: 1093

Mr COSTELLO (Treasurer) (10:02 AM) —I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

This bill is part of the package of seven bills that ends the wholesale sales tax and introduces the goods and services tax.

The A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax Imposition—Customs) Bill 1998 is one of three imposition bills in the package which will have the effect of imposing GST on the importations and supplies that are liable to goods and services tax. Three imposition bills are necessary because of the requirement of the constitution that a law imposing taxation shall deal only with one subject of taxation and that laws imposing customs duty and laws imposing excise duties deal only with those duties.

The imposition bill dealing with customs will impose goods and services tax on importations to the extent that it is a duty of customs.

Full details of the measures in the bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum circulated to honourable members. I commend the bill to the House and present the explanatory memorandum.

Mr Crean —I move that this bill, which will make it a custom to impose 10 per cent on almost everything, be adjourned.

Honourable members interjecting

Mr Crean —Well, his smirk's gone; the dog's serious.

Mr SPEAKER —I warn the member for Hotham.

Debate adjourned.

Mr SPEAKER —Before I call the Treasurer for the next order of the day, I would point out to the member for Hotham that in adjourning the debate he is not able, under standing orders, to enter into any debate. It is a courtesy extended to adjourn the debate to a more convenient hour of sitting.

Mr Crean —Well, that's what I was doing, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Hotham knows perfectly well why I have raised this issue.