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Keating must order Dawkins to release secret Treasury report backing GST

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Senator Jim Short Deputy Leader o f the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Finance & Assisting the Leader on Commonweaith/State Relations

SMF 120/92


Prime Minister Keating has no option but to order Treasurer Dawkins to release immediately the full and uncensored version of the secret Commonwealth Treasury report which reveals overwhelming support for the GST in New Zealand.

It stretches credulity to believe Keating's claim on the Nine Network S u n d a y program today that he did not know the 24-pace report existed — or that it had been suppressed.

The Treasury team was sent to New Zealand in September last year specifically to fossick for any information the Government might be able use against the Coalition's F i g h t b a c k l

To Labor's dismay, the Treasury officials returned with only positive comments about the implementation and application of the GST in New Zealand. So began another Keating/Dawkins cover-up.

Business in New Zealand knows just how uncompetitive Australia is because we continue to lumber along with an antiquated, unfair tax system.

For example, a leading New Zealand businessman, Mr Douglas Myers, who is chief executive of Lion Nathan (which owns Swan, Tooheys and Castlemaine Perkins breweries) describes Australia as "10 years behind the times".

The managing director of Heinz Ltd, Mr Terry Ward, says his huge company decided on New Zealand rather than Australia as the base for their South East Asia operations because "New Zealand has bitten the bullet" on reforms.

When the Senate resumes tomorrow, the Opposition will demand that the Government releases this crucial Treasury report — not the censored version, but the whole unexpurgated report.

Melbourne 6 December 1992

For interview, phone Rod Woolley (06)277 3119 (w), 288 9355 (h)