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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1036..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

effectively delivering to smaller organisations. In spite of the views of States and Territories, they indicated that they were not prepared to adjust the model that they had put forward for effect from 1 July this year.

That is certainly going to hit some organisations hard. I can see the argument the Commonwealth has put forward about that being a concession which has come at their expense rather than other people's expense, if you like. I would have been more happy if the Commonwealth had been prepared to consider some kind of concessional arrangement for organisations that, obviously, have already structured their operations around the delivery of those fringe benefits in the way that their salary packaging has proposed. However, the issue has been raised and considered by the Commonwealth Government. I did not detect any likelihood of the Commonwealth Government changing its mind about that, but I am very happy to discuss this matter with individual organisations in the ACT to see how the impact is actually falling on those organisations and whether there is anything that the ACT can do to assist in that process.

MR WOOD: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I know that Mr Humphries will not jump up and down about my preamble to it, but I thank him for the information provided. It was explicit and appreciated.

Mr Berry: Do not get carried away.

MR WOOD: I will not. Mr Humphries, as you talk to these groups, will you see whether you can build something into the budget that you are still working on?

MR HUMPHRIES: I know what Mr Wood is asking for. The Government is looking at the moment at the impact of tax changes on community organisations. I indicated in the course of debate yesterday about tax-related issues that the Government was considering whether the savings that organisations will be making from embedded wholesale sales tax being abolished would be a benefit which would flow on to community organisations or be collected by government, as is our obligation under the intergovernmental agreement which establishes the new tax system. I note the suggestion by Mr Wood and I will consider it as the budget is being developed.

Impulse Airlines

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Chief Minister and relates to the Impulse Airlines proposal. Has your Government done an analysis of alternative ways of investing $10m in employment-creating initiatives?

MS CARNELL: The Government looks all the time at opportunities that exist for the ACT. At the moment, we believe that the Impulse Airlines deal is a very appropriate way to allocate $8m plus $2m in payroll tax relief. Of course, that $2m is for relief only on the basis that the jobs are created, so it is not money that we would get anyway. In fact, it is money that we would not get if Impulse did not come to the ACT. We believe that you will find when you look at the work that is being done by Access Economics and the work that was done by our own people that the return on that $8m will be


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