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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3125

Senator SANDERS(9.57) —The Australian Democrats do not see the Customs Tariff (Stand-By Duty) Bill as a draconian measure at all and we are, indeed, supporting this Bill. We support it because we see it as a necessary measure to protect the partial allocation scheme. Under the partial allocation scheme most new oil lifted in Australia is available for sale on the free market, and old oil from which the Government receives about 71 per cent of the price per barrel is sold under the allocation system. Under existing legislation it would in some circumstances be cheaper to purchase crude oil overseas at spot prices rather than lift the full allocation of Australian crude oil. This would result in avoidance of the old oil excise and a subsequent drop in government income. By providing that an excise of 3c per litre be paid on imported oil substituted for Australian crude, government income-public income-is protected. I should think that that would interest Senator Durack but apparently it does not. For this reason alone we support the Bill. I do not wish to delay the Senate any longer. I indicate that we will vote with the Government on this issue.