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Monday, 8 May 1989
Page: 1969


Senator HARRADINE —by leave-I claim to have been misrepresented again by Senator Walsh. I rarely make personal explanations but unfortunately I must now go through the details. I referred to Hansard. On Friday Senator Walsh said:

In 1984 a Labor Government introduced a Bill to reinsert section 3 (12) in the Fraser Government's 1982 Act.

That did not occur. He does not even know what he is talking about, because section 3 (12) was already in the principal Act. What Senator Walsh said was wrong. Secondly, he said:

The Labor Party in opposition in 1982 moved an amendment which was identical to the 1984 Bill later presented.

Let me explain precisely what happened. In 1982 the Opposition sought to remove from the Taxation (Unpaid Company Tax) Assessment Act a provision-section 3 (12)-which would have enabled certain taxpayers to be entitled to certain relief. I voted against that because I did not consider it appropriate to vote to provide such relief. That was in 1982. In December 1983 the then Government sought to remove section 3 (12). I voted against that, for the simple reason that in 1982 there had been established a provision allowing relief for taxpayers, and once that provision was in legislation there was an expectation on the part of those taxpayers that they could have access to it. It is an entirely different question when that situation arises. It is not inconsistent at all; it is an entirely different situation from voting in such a way as to prevent the achievement of certain relief when that relief is not already there and, a year and a half later, voting to remove that relief. There is no inconsistency at all in that because a new situation had arisen. I am rather pleased that Senator Walsh has tried to turn that dorothy dix question into an attack on me because he is wrong again. I sincerely hope that nobody will go off and make silly and unwise statements outside Parliament about that.