Media Releases
Press Release No. 104


EMBARGO: 27 October 1998


On 14 August 1998, I announced the appointment of Mr John Ralph AO to chair a review of Business Taxation which will form the basis of a comprehensive new business tax regime under the New Tax System. Mr Ralph has commenced the Review.

To assist Mr Ralph undertake this important task, the Government has decided to appoint Mr Bob Joss, CEO of Westpac and Mr Rick Allert, Chairman of Southcorp to the Review. Mr Ralph, Mr Joss and Mr Allert will be assisted by a Secretariat which is located in Treasury. The Secretariat consists of officers from the Department of the Treasury, the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, as well as a number of external advisers.

The Government had asked Mr Ralph to report by 31 March 1999 to allow a reasonable time period for consultation with the business community, to allow draft legislation to be subject to consultative input from business and for the legislation to have effect from 1 July 2000. The Government now considers this timetable does not allow sufficient time for consultations with the many interested groups representing small, medium and large businesses as well as rural and farming businesses.

The Government has decided to extend the date for reporting from 31 March 1999 to not later than 30 June 1999. To enable the Government’s implementation targets to continue to be met, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and the Australian Taxation Office will work with the Review team to prepare draft exposure legislation consistent with the Government’s reform strategies announced in Tax Reform: not a new tax, a new tax system.

Alan Preston
(02) 6263 4313