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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 686 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

In relation to diesel supplies, the Bill also provides for the registration of pensioners and primary producers who receive an exemption certificate. Such persons are placed on a register which is available to petroleum producers so that the additional petroleum excise is not passed on to them. Registered producers and suppliers are required to maintain detailed records to substantiate their subsidy claims and these are subject to audit by officers authorised under the Bill. Diesel certificate holders other than pensioners using diesel for home heating must also maintain records. In addition, this Bill will remove the unnecessary requirement to renew an exemption certificate each year.

The Bill contains specific penalties for persons receiving subsidies by providing false and misleading information or for incorrectly claiming subsidy amounts, and for the imposition of interest in respect of such overpayments. As under the Taxation (Administration) Act 1987, the commissioner has the power to remit in whole or in part such penalties and interest. The Bill also provides circumstances under which the commissioner may suspend a supplier's registration. Where the power to make such decisions is delegated to the commissioner, the Bill provides that they are subject to an internal review process. All important decisions by the commissioner are ultimately subject to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. This Bill is tabled concurrently with the amendment of the Business Franchise (Tobacco and Petroleum Products) Act 1984.

In summary, Mr Speaker, this subsidies Bill provides the legislative framework, with necessary safeguards, for: Continued payment of subsidies; encouraging the shift in consumption to low-alcohol beverages; and providing tax benefits to pensioners using diesel for home heating and to primary producers using diesel on the land. Mr Speaker, I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan) adjourned.


MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.44): Mr Speaker, I present the Tobacco Licensing (Amendment) Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this Bill is tabled concurrently with the last Bill, the Subsidies (Liquor and Diesel) Bill 1998. As I have already said, last year the High Court declared that business franchise ad valorem fees are constitutionally invalid. This Bill will remove all provisions in relation to the imposition of ad valorem fees under the existing Business Franchise (Tobacco and Petroleum Products) Act 1984.

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