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Tuesday, 31 August 1993
Page: 640

Senator McMULLAN —I have an answer to a question that Senator Ferguson asked earlier today. I am pleased to advise the Senate that it is a question that should have been directed to my colleague the minister responsible for customs because the matter is being dealt with within that portfolio, not within the Treasury. Nevertheless, I can advise Senator Ferguson that there is legislation currently being drafted by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel on instruction from the Australian Customs Service and the question should properly have been asked there.

  There are two bills. One will be called the Diesel Fuel (Excise Duty Rebate Administration Charge) Bill 1993 and the other will be the Diesel Fuel (Customs Duty Rebate Administration Charge) Bill 1993. These administration charge bills respectively impose an administration charge on a person in respect of the processing of an application for a rebate for excise duty or customs duty as the case may be. I am advised that the rate of the charge is one per cent of the amount of rebate payable.

  The bills are taxing bills. Two bills are being prepared because the diesel fuel rebate covers excise and customs duties, and having two bills avoids any chance of invalidity.

Senator Alston —Why don't you take the same approach to the deficit reduction bill?

Senator McMULLAN —If Senator Alston does not understand the issues, he should not speak. I am simply saying to Senator Ferguson that that is the information that is available and it is a matter not being dealt with within the Department of the Treasury nor any area which I represent, but I am happy to provide the information to him.