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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 14 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4197..


In relation to other parts of the safety camera network, I will take that question on notice and provide further advice to you.

Planning—proposed Calwell swimming pool

MR WALL: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, you recently made a decision to partially waive a portion of the $300,000 commence and complete fee charged to Kingswim in relation to the development of a community swimming facility at block 33 section 787 in Calwell. In your letter to Mr King you stated, "Due to the impact that the combination of commercial land tax into the commercial general rates base has had on your extension-of-time fee, I am providing you a partial waiver for the amount of $155,133."Treasurer, why was not the entire fee waived?

MR BARR: It did not meet the criteria under the Financial Management Act for a waiver.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Treasurer, what impact has combining the commercial land tax into the commercial rates base had on development in the ACT?

MR BARR: Certainly simplification of taxation arrangements has helped in relation to development in the territory. I think that particularly the changes with the slashing of the top rate of stamp duty from 7.25 to 5.5 per cent have encouraged a variety of developments to go ahead. There have been a number of large property transactions in the first quarter of this fiscal year, and members will see that in the September consolidated financial reports for the territory. So tax reform is having its intended effect of removing the unfair and distorting taxes that have been holding our economy back, freeing up hundreds of millions of dollars to go back into the pockets of businesses and households in the territory through the removal of the deadweight loss of these inefficient taxes.

The government's five-year tax reform plan, the first phase, is now approaching halfway through its delivery. We have cut stamp duty on every single property in the territory. We have cut the tax on insurance from 10 per cent to six per cent, and it is on its way down to zero. We will be the only jurisdiction in Australia where residents and businesses are paying no tax on their insurance, whether that is home contents insurance, motor vehicle insurance or their professional indemnity insurance. It does not matter what insurance products you have in the ACT, in two years time, at the completion of the abolition of this tax, there will be no tax charged on insurance in the ACT. It is one of the most distorting taxes. We want people to take out insurance, so we are abolishing the tax on insurance. Those opposite want you to pay more tax on your insurance. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question.

MR SMYTH: Treasurer, what consideration was given to the evidence provided to your office by Mr King?


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