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The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the question—That the Bill be now read a second time—

Debate resumed by Mr Cox who moved, as an amendment—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: "while not declining to give the Bill a second reading, the House:

(1) notes that while this Bill addresses a number of deficiencies in the treatment of Commonwealth revenue from the GST and its hypothecation as grants to the States there remain a number of issues in relation to the treatment of revenue and GST in particular in the Australian Government accounts that have resulted in the Auditor-General providing qualifications to the Consolidated Financial Statements for the 2002-2003 financial year;

(2) notes that

 (a) because of the use of the Taxation Liabilities Method to value revenue, assets and liabilities, operating results are understated by $1.8b on an accrual basis, and

(b) the failure to recognise GST as revenue has caused revenues to be understated by $31.8b and expenses by $30.8b in an attempt to hide the Howard Government's record as the biggest taxing government in Australia's history, and

(3) requires the Government to:

(a) prepare proper and accurate accounts in conformity with Australian Accounting Standards;

(b) recognise GST as revenue of the Australian Government in accordance with those accounting standards; and

(c) prepare the budget papers, mid-year review and budget outcome documents in accordance with those standards and have them audited by the Auditor-General".

Debate continued.

Question—That the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question—put.

The House divided (the Deputy Speaker, Mr Price, in the Chair)—

AYES, 77

Mr AbbottMrs DraperDr KempMr Slipper
Mr AndersonMr DuttonMrs LeyMr A. D. H. Smith
Mr K. J. AndrewsMrs ElsonMr LindsayMr Somlyay
Mr AnthonyMr EntschMr LloydDr Southcott
Fran BaileyMr FarmerMr McArthur*Dr Stone
Mr BairdMr Forrest*Mr I. E. MacfarlaneMr C. P. Thompson
Mr BaldwinMrs GallusMr McGauranMr Ticehurst
Mr BarresiMs GambaroMrs MayMr Tollner
Mr BartlettMrs GashMrs MoylanMr Truss
Mr BillsonMr GeorgiouMr NairnMr Tuckey
Mrs B. K. BishopMr HaaseDr NelsonMr M. A. J. Vaile
Ms J. I. BishopMr HardgraveMr NevilleMrs D. S. Vale
Mr BroughMr HartsuykerMs PanopoulosMr Wakelin
Mr CadmanMr HawkerMr PearceDr Washer
Mr CameronMr HockeyMr ProsserMr Williams
Mr CausleyMr HuntMr PyneMr Windsor
Mr CioboMr JohnsonMr RandallMs Worth
Mr CobbMr JullMr Ruddock
Mr CostelloMrs D. M. KellyMr Scott
Mr DownerJackie KellyMr Secker

NOES, 62

Mr AdamsMr L. D. T. FergusonMs C. F. KingMs Roxon
Mr AlbaneseMr M. J. FergusonDr LawrenceMr Rudd
Mr BeazleyMr FitzgibbonMs LivermoreMr Sawford
Mr BevisMs GeorgeMr McClellandMr Sciacca
Mr BreretonMr GibbonsMs J. S. McFarlaneMr Sercombe
Ms BurkeMs GillardMs MacklinMr Sidebottom
Mr ByrneMs GriersonMr McLeayMr S. F. Smith
Ms CorcoranMr GriffinMr McMullanMr Snowdon
Mr CoxMs HallMr MelhamMr Swan
Mr CreanMr HattonMr MossfieldMr Tanner
Mrs CrosioMs HoareMr MurphyMr K. J. Thomson
Mr Danby*Mrs IrwinMs O'ByrneMs Vamvakinou
Mr EdwardsMs JacksonMr B. P. O'ConnorMr Wilkie
Ms EllisMr JenkinsMs PlibersekMr Zahra
Mr EmersonMr KatterMr Quick*
Mr EvansMr KerrMr Ripoll

* Tellers

And so it was resolved in the affirmative.

Question—That the Bill be now read a second time—put and passed—Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General

Message No. 215, 4 December 2003, from His Excellency the Governor-General was announced recommending an appropriation for the purposes of the Bill.

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

On the motion of Mr Cameron (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer), the Bill was read a third time.