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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1803..


Friday 15 June 2001

The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Duties Amendment Bill 2001 (No 2)

Mr Humphries , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (10.33): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I ask leave for leave to have my presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

Mr Speaker, since the introduction of the Duties Act 1999 on 1 March 1999 both NSW and the ACT have encountered some difficulties with its operation.

The Duties Amendment Bill 2001 (No 2) will amend the Duties Act to address a number of issues that have arisen within the ACT and, where appropriate, adopt a number of changes made in NSW legislation.

This Bill will exempt the Territory from duty under the Duties Act. However, statutory authorities and other bodies involved in commercial activities in competition with private sector businesses will be made liable to duty. This is in line with the Government's Competitive Neutrality policy and National Competition Policy principles and will facilitate transparency and accountability.

Mr Speaker, these amendments will allow the Minister to determine which entitles and functions will be subject to duty. The determination will be a disallowable instrument under the Legislation Act 2001.

Mr Speaker, this Bill also increases the current threshold in the Duties Act for "leases" (other than franchise arrangements) from $3,000 per annum to $10,000 per annum. This will reduce the administrative burden on Government and business by removing the requirement for lessors to lodge and pay small amounts of duty on low value leases and licences.


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