25/09/2008 - 16:35

Condesate tax exemption over: Parliament

25/09/2008 - 16:35

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The tax on condensate passed the Senate today, despite fierce opposition from WA Senators who compared the bill to a 'drive-by shooting' on Western Australians.

Condesate tax exemption over: Parliament

The tax on condensate passed the Senate today, despite fierce opposition from WA Senators who compared the bill to a 'drive-by shooting' on Western Australians.

WA Liberal Senator David Johnston spoke against the Excise Legislation Amendment (Condensate) Bill 2008 and said the Opposition would not support bad public policy.

"This is one the greatest assaults on the living standards of Western Australians, I think, in the history of the federation," he told the Senate during debate on the bill.

Senator Johnston said Western Australia's reputation in the area of sovereign risk had gone down the drain because of this new tax.

He said the state was competing against nations such as Qatar, whose cost structures are a fraction of ours, and up until today our biggest advantage has been our continuity and certainty of government policy.

"No corporation in Australia and probably in the world could endure $2.5 billion off the bottom line without passing it on in some form - gas prices for ordinary West Australians must rise because of Canberra's tax grab," he said.

Senator Mathias Cormann, who also spoke against the Bill in the Senate today, said it was wrong to say that Woodside had been exempt from paying excise on crude oil for 30 years.

"Crude oil production on the North West Shelf project has not been excise exempt and Treasury has never been able to substantiate the Treasurer's assertion that Woodside has benefited from some kind of taxation advantage." Senator Cormann said.

The Senators said they agreed with Woodside CEO Don Voelte, who said that governments had a responsibility to consult with industry on major issues such as this.


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