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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 101

(Question No. 589)

Senator Withers asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 9 October 1985:

(1) What sum is allocated in the current financial year for hospitality/entertainment which may be expended:

(a) by the Department; and

(b) by each and every Statutory Authority for which the Minister has responsibility

(2) What were the guidelines in force as at 1 September 1985 for expenditure from the hospitality-entertainment account of:

(a) the Department; and

(b) each and every Statutory Authority for which the Minister has responsibility

(3) Following upon the Statement by the Treasurer ``Reform of the Australian Taxation System'' on 19 September 1985 what action is proposed in relation to questions 1 and 2.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

As Minister for Transport I am responsible for two statutory authorities-The Australian National Railways Commission (AN) and the Australian Shipping Commission (ANL). I am also responsible for administration of the Inter-State Commission Act 1975 which provides for the operation of the Inter-State Commission (ISC), an authority established by the Constitution.

The information provided covers these bodies as well as the Department of Transport.

Department of Transport

(1) $6,000.

(2) The guidelines in force as at 1 September 1985 for expenditure on hospitality-entertainment by the Department are those issued by the Department of Finance, contained in Finance Guidelines 13-1 to 13-14 and Finance Directions 13-1 and 13-2 of the Finance Manual.

(3) Department of Finance has advised that hospitality guidelines will be reviewed and amended as necessary to accord with enactments in relation to the proposed tax.

Expenditure since 19 September is being separately recorded to readily identify Department's tax liability in order that necessary transfer of funds to revenue can occur when legislation is enacted.

Australian National Railways Commission and Australian Shipping Commission

(1) and (2) Both AN and ANL are required by legislation to operate as commercial undertakings. I am therefore not prepared to provide information which may prejudice their commercial operations.

(3) As statutory business undertakings AN and ANL will be liable for hospitality-entertainment tax on the same basis as private commercial enterprises. AN and ANL consider that their existing procedures are adequate to enable them to conform to the new taxation provisions announced by the Treasurer but the procedures will be reviewed when relevant legislation is in place.

Inter-State Commission

(1) $1,000.

(2) and (3) Same as for Department (see above).