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Thursday, 16 December 1993
Page: 4790

Senator SHORT (10.44 a.m.) —There are a couple of other points I want to draw attention to and seek some clarification from the minister. The first one relates to part 9 of the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, which deals with amendments to the Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Act 1992, and in particular to clause 137.

  The government's amendments contained in clause 137 will exempt the RSPCA from sales tax on goods used mainly in carrying out inspections and operating animal shelters. It will provide a credit to the RSPCA of sales tax paid on goods used in inspectorial and shelter activities that are purchased in the period 13 March 1993 until this bill receives royal assent. The coalition certainly welcomes that move. But there is an element of unfairness in granting the RSPCA that exemption when the largest companion animal shelter in Victoria, the Lost Dogs Home, which is doing exactly the same rescue and shelter work as the RSPCA, does not have this sales tax exemption extended to it.

  Is there a particular reason for excluding the Lost Dogs Home or is it an oversight? Will the government consider granting the Lost Dogs Home the same exemption, putting it on the same basis as the RSPCA? They both do very important and valuable work. In my state of Victoria, they do rescue and shelter work in equal measure. The Lost Dog's Home is a larger operation than the RSPCA in Victoria. I hope the government will look at granting the same tax exemption to the Lost Dog's Home that it is rightly granting to the RSPCA.