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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 6 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2046..


MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question now is that the resumption of the debate be made an order of the day for a later hour this day.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Duties Amendment Bill 2008

Debate resumed from 6 May 2008, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.57): The opposition will be supporting this bill, and I would like to thank the government for the fine briefing that I was given on the bill. The principle of this bill is precisely the sort of action that all governments should be taking, particularly as part of a concerted effort to remove or reduce unnecessary regulation.

The reviewing of many of these nuisance taxes has been in place for years. The value of these types of taxing measures really needs to be called into question, especially when they raise such small amounts of revenue. The reality is that the removal of such imposts will more than likely result in more economic activity, and hence increased revenues and profits and, ultimately, revenue flowing into government coffers.

This bill, I was told in the briefing, is estimated to cost the ACT Treasury around $200,000 a year, but it will lead to a more efficient economy. That will also be a great outcome for the community. It does not take much for an economy that is working well to generate the $200,000 that will need to be made up. With that, we commend the bill to the house.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (11.58): I will be brief; I know there is a lot on the schedule for today. I am pleased to speak in support of this bill as well. As was pointed out by Mr Smyth, this has very small revenue implications—some $200,000—but it is music to my ears whenever there is any initiative by government to reduce annoying taxes.

Obviously, it is lamentable that the opportunity to provide more extensive tax relief was rejected in the context of this budget, but apart from the small revenue amount there are always administrative costs in these matters to both taxpayers and obviously the bureaucracy, which makes the removal of taxes of this nature welcome, so I will be pleased to vote in support of it. I understand the urgency because of the planned removal of this tax by midnight on 30 June.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.59): As a general principle, I welcome the removal of taxes and charges which cost the government more in processing expenses than are recouped from the taxes themselves. I also welcome the removal of charges and


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