Senate debates

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Tax Laws Amendment (2009 Measures No. 4) Bill 2009

In Committee

1:24 pm

Photo of Christine MilneChristine Milne (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I move amendment (1) on sheet 5906 revised:

(1)    Page 96 (after line 11), at the end of the bill, add:

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

1  Subdivision 40-J

Repeal the Subdivision.

This amendment is jointly sponsored by the Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, Senator Joyce, and me in relation to removing the tax deduction for the establishment of carbon sink forests. The matter has already been well canvassed in the second reading debate, but I want to thank the members of the National Party for the remarks they made in relation to this. There are a couple of clarifications. I can assure Senator Joyce that my opposition to managed investments schemes extends to Tasmania. I have made that very clear throughout. I released a report earlier this year on what has happened in Preolenna and Meunna, in particular, in relation to managed investment schemes. We are seeing dairy country, in particular, turned over into forests in Tasmania to great cost in those communities.

I would also like to say to Senator Boswell that whilst it is absolutely true that the Greens come at this from a perspective of trying to build resilience in ecosystems and maintain the sustainability of those ecosystems so that they can continue to produce food and keep people leaving a decent life in rural Australia, the fact of the matter is that the Greens have also talked at length on issues around increased land prices, increased water prices, the displacement of food growing land and so on. That is a major concern to us. Senator Boswell may not realise but the reason I ran for politics in the first place in 1989 was as a result of a very hard-fought campaign over two years to oppose the construction of a kraft pulp mill at Wesley Vale in north-west Tasmania because of its impact on agricultural land, the pollution that it would have caused on that land and Bass Strait, in addition to the loss of native forests in Tasmania. So I am glad that at least in this Senate there is a combination of senators from the Greens and the National Party who are working to protect agricultural land, ecosystems and to stop the tax rorts that actually lead to bad outcomes for rural Australia. That is what this is: it is about tax rorts. I commend to the Senate the amendment in my name and that of Senator Joyce and the remarks that have been made in the Senate.


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