Senate debates

Monday, 19 March 2012

Bills

Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011, Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011, Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — General) Bill 2011, Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — Customs) Bill 2011, Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — Excise) Bill 2011, Petroleum Resource Rent Tax Assessment Amendment Bill 2011, Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — General) Bill 2011, Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — Customs) Bill 2011, Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (Imposition — Excise) Bill 2011, Tax Laws Amendment (Stronger, Fairer, Simpler and Other Measures) Bill 2011, Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Bill 2011; Second Reading

Photo of John HoggJohn Hogg (President) Share this | Hansard source

In respect of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011 the question is that amendments numbers (1) and (2) on revised sheet 7209 circulated by the Australian Greens be agreed to.

The amendment to the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011 circulated by the leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, is not in order. It broadens the tax base to include gold and other minerals and therefore imposes taxation within the meaning of section 53 of the Constitution. Section 53 provides:

Proposed laws … imposing taxation, shall not originate in the Senate.

The Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011 does not itself impose tax, but, by proposing to tax substances that are not currently subject to the tax, the request for further amendment transforms the bill into a bill imposing taxation. According to a ruling of President Calvert in 2003, in similar circumstances, such an amendment may not be moved in the Senate, even as a request, because it is contrary to the Constitution. The amendment is out of order and the question therefore will not be put on it.

Honourable senators interjecting—

Order! Senator Bob Brown is entitled to be heard in silence.

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