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Wednesday, 26 May 1993
Page: 1367

Senator McMULLAN (Minister for the Arts and Administrative Services) (6.01 p.m.) —I apologise to the committee and to Senator Watson. I have slightly misled the committee and Senator Watson. Everybody who was involved knows that we approached this amendment in a bit of a rush. In my haste I have slightly misread the section which we are amending. The word `substituted' in the amendment which I have moved does not flow from Senator Watson's words; it flows from clause 40 on page 19 of the Bill. So it actually does read literally. I looked at what I thought was clause 40 on page 19, but I could not find the word `substituted'. In fact, the last word of line 26 on page 19 is `substituted'. The wording of the amendment as distributed is correct, but my previous explanation was not, and I apologise for that.

  When one thinks about it, what we are trying to do actually does make sense. The amendment does not have effect save in respect of returns lodged before today. So it means that people who have lodged returns up until today—that is, my category 1 people—are okay. The people I was concerned about—those who might lodge or seek an amendment after today—do not qualify. The wording is right, but I do apologise for not giving the accurate explanation. We were making it up pretty much on the run, but I think we have got it right. I thank the committee.

  CHAIRMAN—The Chair is probably a little confused.

Senator McMULLAN —This is a separate amendment. Senator Watson's amendment can either be withdrawn or defeated. If he is not happy, we can move our amendment in place of his amendment.

  CHAIRMAN—What we will have to do is ask Senator Watson to withdraw his original amendment.

  Amendment (Senator Watson's)—by leave—withdrawn.

  Amendment (Senator McMullan's) agreed to:

  Clause 40, page 19, line 26, after "substituted", insert "save in respect of returns of income lodged before 26 May 1993 and for which the taxpayer has not subsequently sought any amendment of their assessment in this respect".

  CHAIRMAN—The question is that the Bill as amended be agreed to.