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Monday, 30 August 1993
Page: 492


Senator MICHAEL BAUME —In giving this notice of motion, I want to declare an interest as a former director of Rothbury Wines Ltd and as a very small shareholder in that company. I do so because I notice that government members continually fail to make any declarations of interest in matters that affect them. I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)notes:

    (i)the Government's denial that there will be a damaging impact on the wine industry of its 55 per cent increase in sales tax in the 1993-94 Budget that has cynically broken Labor's election promise not to increase taxes,

    (ii)that after Labor increased the sales tax on wine in 1987 from 10 to 20 per cent the per capita consumption of wine in Australia fell from 21.59 litres to 18.41 litres in 1991, a fall of 11 per cent, bringing serious problems to sections of the wine industry, and

    (iii)that this mirrored a similar 11 per cent fall after a previous Government in 1970 temporarily imposed an unfair excise on the wine industry;

  (b)expresses its concern that a similar reduction in wine consumption will damage the expansion base on which the industry was planning further to increase its exports, which have been one of the few bright spots in Australia's dismal economic environment; and

  (c)condemns this unfair tax for which the Government has no mandate whatsoever, having promised before the election not to increase taxes.