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External Territories to be GST-Free



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M e d i a

R e l e a s e

T H E H O N A L E X S O M L Y A Y MP Minintf for Regional Development, Territories and Ivxal Government

EXTERNAL TERRITORIES TO BE GST-FREE

The Territories Minister, Alex Somlyay, has enthusiastically welcomed today's announcement of a new tax system for Australia by the Treasurer, Peter Costello, saying that the new system recognises the special place of Norfolk Island and the Indian Ocean Territories in Australia’s tax regime.

The new tax system, due to start in July 2000, will replace the existing taxation system largely introduced in 1930. A central component of the new tax system is a goods and services tax (GST).

Mr Somlyay said that the GST will not apply in Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, just as wholesales sales tax does not apply in these territories.

In addition, any goods and services provided to these territories will be GST-free exports.

Residents of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Island will benefit from personal income tax cuts, the new families package and increases in social security pensions and allowances.

Residents of Norfolk Island will be unaffected by these changes as they currently do not pay income tax or receive family assistance or social security benefits.

“This announcement represents an excellent outcome for Australia’s external territories," Mr Somlyay said.

Ends S83/98 13 August 1998

For further information: Graeme Hallett. Media Advisor, 0419 218 469

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