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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1836..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

The Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 amends the Duties Act 1999, the Rates Act 2004 and the Payroll Tax Act 1987.

The bill contains four amendments, all of which provide a benefit to certain groups of taxpayers. Three of the amendments relate to special disability trusts under the Duties Act and the Rates Act. The fourth amendment, to the Payroll Tax Act, provides an exemption from payroll tax for wages that are paid or payable in relation to voluntary services performed under the Emergency Services Act 2004.

The amendment to the Duties Act provides an exemption from duty on the purchase of a residential property by a special disability trust where the beneficiary of the trust resides in the property as their principal place of residence. Special disability trusts were introduced by the Australian government to assist parents and immediate family members to make private financial provision for the current and future care and accommodation needs of a family member with a severe disability.

I believe it is important that all levels of government support and assist those parents and families who are caring for people with a disability. This exemption from duty will help ease some of the financial burden for those families who transfer a residential property into a special disability trust.

The amendments to the Rates Act will allow a trustee of a special disability trust to apply to the Commissioner for ACT Revenue for a deferral and/or rebate of rates. Currently, the owner of a parcel of land can apply to the commissioner to defer the payment of rates. However, where property is purchased by a special disability trust, the trustee is deemed to be the owner. The amendment to the Rates Act expands the definition of an "owner"and "eligible person"to allow a trustee of a special disability trust to apply for a deferral of rates on behalf of the beneficiary when the beneficiary is an eligible person. The amendments will also allow the commissioner to make a determination to defer rates without an application by the trustee of a special disability trust if there are exceptional circumstances to support such a deferral.

The final amendment introduces an exemption from payroll tax for wages paid or payable to an employee who takes part as a volunteer in emergency operations. This will include voluntary activities for the Rural Fire Service, SES, community fire units and bush fire-fighting, or assistance provided by the SES for emergencies in and around the ACT.

I commend the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 to the Assembly.

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

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 (No 2)

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

Title read by Clerk.

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