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Victory For Good Sense

28 March 2001 PR 45/01

VICTORY FOR GOOD SENSE

President of Federated Farmers Alistair Polson and Lyn Williams, spokesperson for the West Coast Settlement Reserves Lessees Association tonight said that Dr Cullen should be congratulated for being prepared to listen and having the courage to correct a mistake.

"To proceed with hasty and ill conceived legislation would have resulted in a gross travesty. Officials had clearly got it wrong. There was never any intention in the original legislation to tax the compensation payments made to the West Coast Lessees. Indeed to do so would have amounted to double taxation," they said.

The matter was resolved at a meeting held tonight in Dr Cullen's office between Lyn Williams, Alistair Polson, Price Waterhouse tax specialist John Shewan, Chapman Tripp legal adviser Jack Hodder and officials from TPK and Crown Law Office.

"All now agree that using market value to calculate the amount of compensation to be paid includes the impact of tax on cash flows. Thus there is no tax equity issue between those who were compensated under the first formula and those who are about to argue their case next week."

"This last minute hiccup has been unnerving and frustrating for the 170 members of the Lessees Association who have waited three years for their day in court."

We are pleased that the Minister has listened. This exercise is a good example of the importance of contestable advice. Dr Cullen is to be congratulated for getting to the bottom of the matter," they said.

ENDS


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