Doorstop Interview, Chambers Flat, QLD: GST, Petrol, Economy

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Doorstop Interview, Narangba Valley State High School, Qld: Balance of Payments, Internet, Economy, Fuel excise
March 3, 2000

Doorstop Interview, Chambers Flat, QLD: GST, Petrol, Economy


Transcript No. 2000/22


The Hon Peter Costello MP



Chambers Flat, Queensland

Thursday, 2 March 2000


SUBJECTS: GST, Petrol, Economy.


Hi Mr Costello, John Anderson has hinted this morning that the GST on caravan park

rentals is under review. Is that the case?



No, it is not under review, the treatment that has been provided in the legislation

provides options either to treat long term stays as residential rents or to provide them

on the same basis as long term stays in hotels and it is the option that can be taken and

if the preferable option which gives rise to the lower cost is the residential rents one,

then the legislation facilitates that at the moment.



So there will be no change?




Treasurer how important is it for the bakers and the Pizza Hut owners of Logan Village

and the rest of Australia to hear direct from the horse’s mouth what’s happening

with the small businesses and GST?



Well it is great to be here actually I’m really looking forward to meeting the

local business community to talk to them about some of the changes in tax, not just Goods

and Services Tax of course but cuts in capital gains tax, cuts in company tax, simplified

taxation system for accelerated depreciation which I think is going to make Australia one

of the great tax systems of the world. It will bring us in to the modern era and it will

give our businesses the chance to grow and prosper and more importantly to create new jobs

for many more Australians.



You used up a …



…small business like this one?



Yes, I’m looking forward to, to full couple of days of visits here in Queensland

and I can assure you I will be back. I love it here.



You used up a bit extra fuel getting here today, talking about contaminated fuel are

your officers doing less testing now than they were 18 months ago?



No. Let me go through how fuel has to be policed. Where there’s substitution of

fuel going on it’s up to the state Fair Trading Offices to police that. Some are

doing good jobs and I urge others to bring their checks and their enforcement up to full

level. Where there is fuel that is being sold it is up to the Australian Taxation Office

to make sure that it is taxed at the full and proper rate and the Australian Taxation

Office acts on enquiries and it acts on information and I am told that the Australian

Taxation Office vigorously chases to ground any areas of excise evasion.



Is Queensland doing a good job? Is that your impression?



(inaudible) on chemicals being used…




Well I am not entirely sure what the situation is in Queensland but I know that in some

of the other states they have been very active in identifying and actually naming service

stations that have been engaged in substitution and the service station, the honest

service station owners will want this to be policed. Because they won’t want

dishonest operators in their midst and I appeal for anyone with information to give it to

the State authorities so that they can follow up on that.



Well are you looking at putting an excise on chemicals that are used for petrol




No we’re not changing the excise regime. What we’re going to make sure is

that when people roll up to the bowser to buy petrol they get petrol. That’s what

they’re buying, petrol. And they’re entitled to buy petrol. And it’s

against the law to have anything else in that bowser and the enforcement authorities

should act on all information to prevent any substitution going on at the bowser level.



…What about the dollar,Treasurer, are you concerned?



The currency movements go up and they go down over a period time and I certainly

don’t comment on the movement from day to day. But I’ll make this point that the

retail trade’s been incredibly strong in Australia. It was incredibly strong in the

December quarter. You’ve seen it come off a little in January as you would expect

from those extremely high levels. But overall the Australian economy is in a sound and

strong position to be growing at the level that it is on the low inflation level that it

is makes Australia one of the high growth low inflation economies of the world and people

have to take that into account when assessing our future economic prospects. People will

take day to day positions in relation to the dollar but the truth is that over the long

term it’s the fundamentals that count in an economy and that’s what we’re

addressing ourselves to. Thanks.