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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1570..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Exchanges are excluded from land holder duty. The bill aligns the Duties Act more closely with New South Wales to clarify that an interest in a land holder may be obtained or increased by any means, including by the issue of shares or units.

This bill also replaces the current subsidiary model used to aggregate landholdings with the linked entity model used by New South Wales. This will provide further protection for the territory's revenue base and ensure dealings in land are dutied accordingly where there is an entitlement by one entity to 20 per cent or more of the property of another.

The bill also strengthens the aggregation provisions to ensure that apparently independent acquisitions are dutiable where they involve substantially one arrangement or where the acquisitions are made by people acting in concert. The bill will also aggregate acquisitions from three years before an option is granted to when the option is exercised.

This bill is the result of extensive consultation with the community, beginning with the release of a discussion paper in November 2003. Submissions were received and considered with further consultation taking place at the end of 2005. The review of these provisions included comparing the ACT with other jurisdictions.

Mr Speaker, these provisions, do not expand the territory's tax base. Rather, the changes tighten the current anti-avoidance provisions and ensure that significant interests in land are dutied at the conveyance rate. This bill aligns the ACT more closely with similar provisions in New South Wales and Victoria, and treats an indirect acquisition of land, through shares and units, in a similar manner to a direct transfer. Mr Speaker, I commend the Duties (Landholders) Amendment Bill 2008 to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Land Rent Bill 2008

Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (10.40): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, today I introduce the Land Rent Bill 2008 to the Assembly. This bill will implement one of the recommendations of the affordable housing steering group report to introduce a land rent scheme in the ACT. This scheme is unique to the ACT and the first of its kind in Australia. It will allow home buyers to rent their land and build their own house on it, rather than have to buy it outright.


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