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Thursday, 18 February 1971

Senator WEBSTER - ls the Minsiter representing the Treasurer aware that consideration is being given by several State Governments to the elimination of State probate duty on rural estates? Will the Minister consider prompting a meeting between Slate authorities and the Commonwealth with a view to bringing about the elimination of both State and Federal probate duties on rural estates?

Senator Sir KENNETHANDERSONI would have thought that the honourable senator was stealing someone's thunder because, as I understand it. there is a senator designate who will solve all of these problems soon after his arrival. Speaking in a more serious vein, the decision of any State government in relation to probate duty is a matter for the State concerned. As for the Commonwealth, it is a budgetary and fiscal matter which, I am sure, is examined at the appropriate time. On the basis of a question at question time T cannot see any merit or justification for the proposition that we should collaborate with the States to do something about the duty. What the Commonwealth may do is the responsibility of the Commonwealth. What the States choose to do is the responsibility of the States, acting within their own budgetary obligations and in accordance with their sovereign powers.

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