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Tuesday, 18 June 1996
Page: 1689

Senator SHORT —During question time today, Senator Faulkner asked me a question about the requirements in relation to the wholesale sales tax changes. I want to add a little to the answer that I gave him before.

As I said during question time, the Treasurer's first announcement was an offer to the states, and that was made on Tuesday, 11 June. That of course, as Senator Faulkner well knows, was fundamentally changed and, subsequently, there was an announcement made on the finally agreed position following the Premiers Conference on 14 June, last Friday.

So the seven-day deadline, I am advised, for the commissioner to advise of decisions in the press is seven days after the 14th; that is, this coming Friday, 21 June. The commissioner and the tax office are of course aware of this—

Senator Hill —How could they have got it so wrong?

Senator SHORT —and have processes in hand to ensure that they meet the publication requirement by 23 June. As my colleague Senator Hill says, it is incredible that the other side could have got it so wrong, once again.