Senate debates

Thursday, 21 June 2012



11:58 am

Photo of Jacinta CollinsJacinta Collins (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) Share this | | Hansard source

I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the Tax Laws Amendment (Managed Investment Trust Withholding Tax) Bill 2012, allowing it to be considered during this period of sittings.

I also table a statement of reasons justifying the need for this bill to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statement incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—


Purpose of the Bill

The bill will:

Increase the managed investment trust (MIT) final withholding tax rate, from the current rate of 7.5 per cent final to 15 per cent final as of 1 July 2012.

Reasons for Urgency

This MIT measure increases withholding tax applicable to fund payments on or after 1 July 2012. In order for the new rate of 15 per cent to apply to fund payments, this bill will need to pass through the Parliament before 1 July 2012.

Senator Collins to move:

That consideration of the business before the Senate on Wednesday, 15 August 2012, be interrupted at approximately 5 pm, but not so as to interrupt a senator speaking, to enable Senator Thorp to make her first speech without any question before the chair.

Senator Abetz to move:

That the Senate—

  (a)   notes findings by Fair Work Australia that Mr Craig Thomson misused $500 000 of Health Services Union members' funds for sexual services, personal travel and entertainment and to secure a seat in the Federal Parliament; and

  (b)   condemns the misuse of union members' funds as found by Fair Work Australia.

Senators Cormann and Johnston to move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Assistant Treasurer, by noon on Thursday, 28 June 2012, all documents, including all correspondence and emails between the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Financial Ombudsman Service, in relation to the changes in the terms of reference of the Financial Ombudsman Service which came into force on 1 January 2012.

Senator Milne to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 23 August 2012:

The causes of electricity bill increases and options to moderate future increases, with particular reference to:

  (a)   identification of the key causes of electricity price increases over recent years and in future projections;

  (b)   whether the current electricity market objectives, and governance and regulation structures have been and will continue to be effective at moderating costs and serving their intended purposes;

  (c)   the accuracy of past electricity demand projections, the impact of declining wholesale electricity prices and the role of energy efficiency;

  (d)   barriers to reform created by the National Electricity Market institutions, including state-based regulators, the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Market Commission and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), and whether the reach of the AER is unnecessarily restricted;

  (e)   the difference in cost drivers between private and government-owned transmission and distribution businesses and the significant decline in the productivity of these businesses;

  (f)   the impact of state and federal government measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support renewable energy and energy efficiency in light of market externalities, broader social and economic benefits and whether market objectives should be reconsidered in light of these benefits;

  (g)   whether or not network reliability standards are unnecessarily high, and whether there are benefits of moving to a more sophisticated probabilistic approach to reliability standards, including more appropriate metrics of value of unserved energy and value of customer reliability;

  (h)   the effects of the imposition of obligations on electricity distributors for minimum targeted levels of 'demand management' and consumer energy efficiency schemes;

     (i)   the benefits of decoupling the profits of electricity distributors from the volume of energy supplied;

  (j)   the materiality of 'merit order' based price reductions in the wholesale energy market from increasing levels of distributed generation;

  (k)   regulatory and other barriers relating to the connection processes for embedded generators;

  (l)   the potential to shift from an energy-only market to markets in both energy and capacity, to restrain price volatility, ensure resource adequacy, and foster the development of a broad, competitive mix of generation and demand-side resources;

  (m)   the potential for increased funding of, and capacity for, consumer advocacy to reduce bills through countering the lobbying of market participants and networks;

  (n)   the need for a government agency to coordinate and promote energy savings, demand management and distributed generation;

  (o)   barriers to reform of the energy markets and systems in Western Australia and the Northern Territory; and

  (p)   any related matters.