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Thursday, 22 October 2009
Page: 10679

Mr COMBET (Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science and Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change) (9:31 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill, which is part of the legislative package to establish the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, is one of three technical bills which anticipate the possibility that the charge payable by a person to the Commonwealth for issue of an Australian emissions unit as the result of an auction, or for a fixed charge, is a tax within the meaning of section 55 of the Constitution.

The Commonwealth does not consider that these charges are taxes for constitutional purposes. However, the government has taken an approach of abundant caution, with the charges bills providing safeguards in case a court reaches a different view on this question.

This bill caters for the possibility that the charges I have mentioned are, in whole or part, both a tax and a duty of customs by providing for the imposition of such a charge under this bill.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coulton) adjourned.