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Monday, 2 December 1985
Page: 2637

Senator MICHAEL BAUME —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that the Federal Government has developed a new and improper practice of introducing major changes in policy through legislation which is operative from the date of announcement but not presented to the Parliament for consideration until many months or even years later, a breach of previous practice that limited such procedure to the closing of loopholes in existing tax legislation that involved no policy changes or to specific Customs Act changes;

(b) regrets that this practice imposes an unfair and unreasonable burden on citizens whose actions are affected for many months by laws which do not yet exist, whose terms are not yet specified and whose operation is uncertain, and which may be amended or defeated by the Parliament when ultimately presented to it, or which may be (and indeed have been) considerably changed by the time they come before the Parliament from the broad outline in the original announcement; and

(c) condemns the Government for this improper practice (evident in the present capital gains tax and negative gearing proposals which operate from 20 September 1985, but which will not be introduced until next February or March 1986) which represents a subverting of the rights and obligations of the Senate and constitutes an authoritarian and unacceptable form of Government by decree.