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Monday, 9 August 2004
Page: 25967

Senator Allison asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 2 June 2004:

(1) Will the Government, in the current review of depreciation, consider including high energy efficiency performance building envelope or faade systems with the cost of air conditioning plants for depreciation and tax deduction purposes; if so, when; if not, why not.

(2) Does the Government accept that the high cost of high performance, sustainable building products and systems is a barrier to their use in commercial buildings.

(3) Has the department sought or received advice from the Australian Greenhouse Office in relation to introducing tax incentives to remove such barriers.

Senator Minchin (Minister for Finance and Administration) —The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Government is not currently undertaking a review of depreciation. The Commissioner of Taxation is currently undertaking a review of the safe harbour effective lives of depreciating assets. Building envelope or faade systems form part of a building. Building depreciation is available separately from other depreciable assets under Division 43 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, and is not part of the review.

(2) The Government considers that the material and systems used in the construction of a building is a decision for the building owner based on a number of varying factors including future performance and costs.

(3) No.