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2003-04 Budget

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Treasury

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission - cessation of cost recovery for airport regulation

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission -0.9 - - -

The Government has decided to reallocate funding previously provided to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for administering price regulation of airport services to partially fund a one year extension of the Location Specific Pricing Subsidy for air traffic control services provided by Airservices Australia.

Following the Government's decision to remove price controls from airports from 1 July 2002, the ACCC's regulatory responsibilities have diminished and this appropriation is no longer required. This expense was recovered by excise and customs duty of 0.036 cents per litre on aviation turbine fuel (avtur). Revenue will be redirected to the Transport and Regional Services portfolio.

See also the related expense measure titled Airservices Australia - extension of the Location Specific Pricing Subsidy in the Transport and Regional Services portfolio and revenue measure titled Aviation fuel excise - extension of excise collection for the Location Specific Pricing Subsidy in the Treasury portfolio.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission - implementation of the Wilkinson Report

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 1.5 0.6 0.2 -

The Government will provide additional funding of $2.3 million over three years to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to implement the Government's response to the findings and recommendations of the Wilkinson Report on the impact of the competition provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974, on recruitment and retention of medical practitioners in rural and regional Australia.

Funding ends in the calendar year 2005 to coincide with the review of the implementation of the recommendations of the Wilkinson Report.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission - monitoring medical indemnity insurance premiums

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 0.5 0.5 - -

The Government will provide funding of $1 million over two years to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to monitor medical indemnity premiums to ensure that they are actuarially and commercially justified.

In October 2002, the Government announced a package of measures aimed at ensuring key private medical services, including in rural and regional areas, are maintained, and providing a new framework for the provision of medical indemnity insurance in Australia. The Government considers it important that the benefits of reforms are passed on to the practitioners, to patients and to the community.

Funding of $0.5 million was provided in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2002-03 to enable the ACCC to commence monitoring of medical indemnity premiums in January 2003. The additional funding will allow the ACCC to continue in its monitoring role to the end of June 2005.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission - telecommunications competition regulation

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 5.8 5.6 5.7 5.8

The Government will provide the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission with additional funding of $22.9 million over four years, with ongoing funding subject to review by October 2006, to continue its current regulatory role in the telecommunications sector under the Trade Practices Act 1974, and to undertake additional tasks and responsibilities arising from reforms enacted by the Telecommunications Competition Act 2002.

Expenses for this proposal are fully recovered from the telecommunications industry under the Telecommunications (Carrier Licence Charges) Act 1997, in the year following the expense.

See also the related revenue measure titled Telecommunications competition regulation - cost recovery in the Communications, Information Technology and the Arts portfolio.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority - strengthened capabilities in prudential regulation

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority 5.9 5.2 5.3 5.5

The Government will provide $21.9 million over four years (with ongoing funding subject to review by October 2006) to enable the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to employ additional technical experts and attract and retain appropriately skilled front-line supervisory staff to enhance its supervisory and information technology capabilities.

Funding will be fully recovered through levies on the financial sector.

See also the related revenue measure titled Australian Prudential Regulation Authority - strengthened capabilities in prudential regulation in the Treasury portfolio.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission - corporate disclosure initiatives

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Securities and Investments Commission 3.0 3.0 3.1 3.2

The Government will provide the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) with funding of $12.3 million over four years for its role in the implementation of Part 9 of the Corporate Law Economic Reform Programme (CLERP 9). Ongoing funding is subject to a review in 2003-04 in light of the findings of the HIH Royal Commission.

Under the CLERP 9 reforms, ASIC will be provided with additional powers to deal with inadequate disclosure. This funding will enable ASIC to conduct surveillance, investigate and take enforcement action in relation to alleged contraventions of these provisions.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission - corporate insolvency initiative

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Securities and Investments Commission 3.0 3.0 3.1 3.2

The Government will provide the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) with funding of $12.3 million over four years for a programme directed at targeted surveillance of misconduct by company officers in small/medium enterprises (SMEs) and identified high-risk industry sectors. ASIC will increase enforcement work and ASIC-initiated winding up action of SMEs to prevent abuse of the corporate form.

On-going funding will be reviewed in 2003-04 in light of the findings of the Cole Royal Commission.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission - funding for the HIH investigations taskforce

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Securities and Investments Commission 17.5 10.7 - -

The Government will provide additional funding of $28.2 million over two years to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to establish a dedicated taskforce to undertake investigations and civil litigation on possible breaches of the Corporations Act 2001 as identified by the HIH Royal Commission.

Funding for the Taskforce will be subject to review by the end of 2003 in light of ASIC caseloads experience during the initial period.

Funding has also been earmarked for possible criminal prosecutions arising from the investigations and/or identified by the HIH Royal Commission.

Financial Reporting Council - funding to support expanded role

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Department of the Treasury 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0

The Government will provide $4 million over four years to support the expanded role of the Financial Reporting Council under Part 9 of the Government's Corporate Law Economic Reform Programme (CLERP 9). This expanded role will include oversight of audit standard setting and auditor independence issues. The Auditing and Assurance Standards Board will be moved under the control of the Financial Reporting Council with auditing standards being given the force of law.

On-going funding will be subject to a review by October 2006.

Fuel tax reform

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Taxation Office - fuel tax framework - - - -
Australian Taxation Office - biodiesel production grants 15.0 44.0 76.0 99.0
Industry, Tourism and Resources - ethanol production grants 27.0 45.0 61.0 62.0

From 1 July 2008, the Government will provide grants to the producers and importers of fuels that are currently exempt from excise (and customs) duty and which are used in internal combustion engines. These grants are part of arrangements to make these fuels subject to fuel excise and will apply for a transitional period. The grants will be progressively reduced, raising the effective excise (that is, excise less grant) for untaxed fuels from zero prior to 1 July 2008, to their final rates in five even annual steps commencing from 1 July 2008.

The transitional grants form part of a programme that will establish a long term sustainable taxation framework for fuels by addressing a number of anomalies in the current fuel tax system and providing increased certainty for investors, while meeting existing Government commitments and providing time for industry to adjust.

In addition, the Government will continue to provide production grants for fuel ethanol from 18 September 2003 under the same basis as announced in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2002-03. The Government will also provide grants for the production and importation of biodiesel, from 18 September 2003. Both grants will be reduced in five equal annual instalments from 1 July 2008.

See also the related revenue measure titled Fuel tax reform in the Treasury portfolio.

Languages Other Than English courses provided by ethnic schools - variation in Budget Balancing Assistance as a result of making courses GST-free

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Department of the Treasury 1.8 0.7 0.7 0.6

The Government will make State or Territory recognised Languages Other Than English (LOTE) courses provided by non-profit ethnic schools GST-free, with effect from 1 January 2002.

Currently, LOTE courses provided by ethnic schools are taxable supplies under the GST because the schools providing them do not qualify for GST-free treatment. The Minister for Education, Science and Training will make a determination under existing legislative provisions of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 to make LOTE courses GST-free.

The reduction in GST revenues will result in increased Budget Balancing Assistance payments to the States and Territories.

See also the related revenue measure titled GST Determination to make Languages Other Than English courses provided by ethnic schools GST-free in Appendix A of Budget Paper No. 3.

Measures for a Better Environment - cleaner fuel

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Energy Grants (Credits) Scheme - inclusion of liquefied natural gas and biodiesel 3.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
Incentive to switch to low sulphur fuels - - 1.0 41.0
Ultra low sulphur diesel excise differential - compensation for the agricultural sector 10.0 13.0 4.0 -

The Government will introduce a package of measures to deliver on its Measures for a Better Environment commitment to encourage conversion from the dirtiest fuels to the most appropriate and cleanest fuels as announced by the Prime Minister in May 1999.

The proposed Energy Grants (Credits) Scheme (EGCS) will be extended to include liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biodiesel (but not blends of biodiesel and diesel) as alternative fuels eligible for an on-road credit.

LNG will be approved under the EGCS from 1 July 2003. Biodiesel will be approved once the fuel standard for biodiesel under the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 has come into effect.

The grant rate for LNG will be 8.130 cents per litre and the grant rate for biodiesel will be 18.510 cents per litre.

From 1 January 2006, the Government will fund grant payments for a period of two years for the production or import of low sulphur premium unleaded petrol. This measure is part of the Government's approach to encourage the introduction of higher quality clean fuels into the market. A similar measure will be implemented for diesel with less than 10 parts per million sulphur from 1 January 2007 for two years duration.

The measure will bring forward production of higher quality fuels before they are mandated under the provisions included in the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000. The initiative will be reviewed in the period prior to implementation to ensure that it aligns with the timing of new fuel standards and market conditions.

The off-road grant rates under the proposed EGCS will be increased for the agriculture sector to compensate for the additional excise (and customs) duty levied on high sulphur diesel between 1 July 2003 and 31 December 2005. The excise differential, designed to encourage the production of ultra low sulphur diesel, was announced as part of the Measures for a Better Environment package in May 1999.

The additional grant will apply to claims for an off-road credit made between 1 July 2003 and 31 December 2005 for fuel purchased for use in agriculture.

The additional grant amount will be a weighted average of the differences between the excise rates applying to ultra low sulphur diesel and high sulphur diesel, calculated based on the market share of each fuel.

Further details on the Government's Measures for a Better Environment commitment may be found in the Prime Minister's Press Release of 31 May 1999.

See also the related revenue measure titled Measures for a Better Environment - cleaner fuel in the Treasury portfolio.

Productivity Commission - reporting on key indicators of Indigenous disadvantage

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Productivity Commission 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6

The Government will provide the Productivity Commission with additional funding of $2.4 million over four years, with ongoing funding subject to a review by October 2005, to prepare an annual report on key indicators of Indigenous disadvantage.

As part of the Council of Australian Governments' reconciliation agenda, the objective is to identify key indicators that are of relevance to all Governments and Indigenous stakeholders and that can demonstrate the impact of programme and policy intervention on addressing Indigenous disadvantage.

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal - additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Australian Securities and Investments Commission 2.1 1.3 1.4 1.5

The Government will provide additional funding of $6.3 million over four years to increase the base funding for the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) to enable it to meet increasing demands on its services. This would also enable the SCT not to resort to supplementary funding to meet its needs as has been the case to date. The funding will allow the SCT to continue to service current and increasing complaints lodgements, retain technical skills and avoid delays in bringing cases to a conclusion.

See also the related revenue measure titled Superannuation Complaints Tribunal - additional funding in the Treasury portfolio.


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