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Thursday, 27 June 1996
Page: 2369

Senator STOTT DESPOJA(12.55 p.m.) —The Australian Democrats are supporting, with qualification, the amendments before the Senate. We seek to amend one of the amendments:

Subsection 221YAAA(3), omit "The provisional", substitute "Unless the Parliament otherwise provides, the provisional".

I understand this reflects similar wording that is currently in the act. Senator Kernot would have been here to move the amendment, but she is otherwise engaged.

On that point I note that the Democrats were rather perturbed at the short notice given to us in regard to the government amendments before us. We commend the coalition government for perhaps finally showing a willingness to negotiate or at least to compromise on this matter. It is certainly a matter that the Democrats have been debating for a long time. We have been seeking to amend the provisional tax uplift factor for a number of years. So we are pleased to see that both the ALP and the coalition have finally agreed to do this.

The intent of our amendment makes it clear that it would be up to the parliament to ensure that the uplift factor is reviewed, depending on economic circumstances, on an annual basis. I am wondering whether that amendment is acceptable to the coalition and to the opposition.

Senator Watson —In the amendment do you mean the government or the parliament.

Senator STOTT DESPOJA —The parliament. I understand—and your advisers may be able to assist in this regard—that this reflects similar wording in the current act. That is the Australian Democrats' proposed amendment. I apologise that Senator Kernot was not available to move it.