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Wednesday, 9 November 1983
Page: 2468

Mr JOHN BROWN (Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, Minister for Administrative Services and Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry and Commerce)(11.21) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The main purpose of this Bill is to amend the Customs Act 1901 and the Excise Act 1901 to introduce new provisions which emanate from the 1983 Budget. The Treasurer (Mr Keating), in his Budget Speech, announced an increase in the excise on diesel fuel. He said, however, that the rebate of excise on diesel fuel would not be increased when used off-road by the mining, forestry, farming and fishing industries, and by households, hospitals, nursing and aged persons homes. The excise increase on diesel fuel took effect from 8 p.m. on Budget night and from that time the rebate for eligible purposes will be pegged to 7. 155c per litre.

By clause 6, this Bill proposes an amendment to section 164 of the Customs Act to give effect to the Budget decision, by providing for the rate of rebate on diesel fuel used for eligible purposes to be prescribed by regulations. It is proposed that the appropriate regulations be made as soon as possible after this Bill receives the royal assent. Similar consequential amendments are proposed to the Excise Act by clauses 8 and 9 of the Bill.

The opportunity has been taken to include in the Bill a number of machinery amendments to the Customs Act and Excise Act. In particular, clause 4 inserts a new provision into the Customs Act to enable additional criteria to be prescribed by regulation, under which depot licences will not be granted under the Act. Clause 10 of the Bill repeals a now redundant part of the Excise Act as a consequence of the introduction of the new crude oil excise system proposed by the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1983.

Finally, clauses 11 and 12 contain amendments to the tariff proposal and by-law procedures in the Excise Act, to bring them into line with similar provisions in the Customs Act. The measures in this Bill will have no direct financial implications. However, the consequential financial implications of pegging the rate of rebate on diesel fuel to 7.155c per litre will result in an expected net increase to revenue of $30m in 1983-84. This is because eligible consumers of the fuel have been required to pay a net excise of 1.872c per litre since Budget night. The figure also includes the expected net revenue gain from indexation proposed to occur on 1 February next year. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr McVeigh) adjourned.