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Thursday, 2 September 1993
Page: 884

Senator SHORT (11.46 a.m.) —I was not going to buy in on this debate either, but I would not let this occasion go by without pointing out to the Senate that at 11 p.m. last night in the estimates committee hearing I asked the Treasury whether it was possible, via its modelling system and its famous Prismod model, to model the impact on specific industries of specific budget measures. I was told that yes, it was possible to do that. So I then asked the Treasury, `Well, I assume that you have in fact modelled the impact on the wine industry of the 55 per cent increase in the sales tax on wine'. To my absolute bewilderment, the answer came back, in effect, that the modelling had not been done.

  I find that extraordinary and stretching the bounds of credulity almost beyond limit. When we get on to the formal part of proceedings today, I will be moving that the Treasury undertake that modelling study that it has said it can do and that it presents those findings to the Senate. It will be very interesting indeed to see how those findings line up with the material that has been provided to the Senate by my colleagues Senator Tierney and Senator Kemp.

  The main point I want to make is that I really do find it absolutely unbelievable that on a such a critical budget measure where the government has admitted that it has all the tools at its facility, it did not model the impact or that, if it did do any modelling, it is not prepared up to date to share the confidence of the Australian people about those results.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.