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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 2674

Dr GUN (KINGSTON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Treasurer whether his attention has been drawn to an advertisement appearing in the 'Medical Journal of Australia' on 6 October 1973 and headed 'Farming opportunity with excellent capital gain potential', in which successful businessmen and companies are invited to subscribe capital of a minimum amount of $600 a year for 12 years to become engaged in the raising of beef cattle in Victoria's western district.

Mr Cohen - What journal?

Dr GUN - The 'Medical Journal of Australia' I ask in particular: Has the Treasurer's attention been drawn to items suggesting that the advertised project offers total tax deductions per annum of moneys contributed? Is this not an invitation to other than bona fide farmers to gain at the expense of other taxpayers? Is the claim to total tax deductibility accurate?

Mr CREAN (MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - My attention has been drawn to the advertisement circulating in the paper of the Australian Medical Publishing Co. Ltd.

Mr MacKellar - Are you a regular reader?

Mr CREAN - Yes, a constant reader. The advertisement is obviously directed towards the practice described as Pitt Street or Collins Street farming. As a good Victorian, I prefer the epithet 'Pitt Street' to 'Collins Street'. I would say that up to the date of the Budget, 21 August 1973, a person engaged in a business of primary production was entitled to various tax deductions for capital expenditure incurred in the year of income in improving land used for primary production. This afternoon I will be introducing a Bill on income tax that will cover a number of heads, includ ing this particular case. I would say that as a result of the announcement made on 21 August the statement appearing in the journal is incorrect. I think there is an obligation on those who accept advertisements to pay some attention to the accuracy of the contents. It is incorrect now to say that a person who invests a minimum amount of $600 per annum for 12 years will be entitled to a total tax deduction on the amount contributed each year. Furthermore, if any part of the annual contribution is used to purchase land no part of the amount so applied will be deductible on any basis. The advertisement is unscrupulous and incorrect.

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