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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1093..


MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why is it that six months after the review's announcement the review has not commenced?

MR CORBELL: Due to the seriousness with which we take the need to discuss and consult on these matters with the union that represents the workforce.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, how is it that you are not responsible for this delay?

MR CORBELL: I have just answered that question, Madam Speaker. If I am to be criticised for delay because we consult, then I am very happy to be criticised.

COAG meeting

MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, last week you attended a meeting of COAG with other first ministers. Could you inform the Assembly what agreement was reached in relation to reform of the federation and tax reform?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. Last Friday was an important meeting of Australia's first ministers. There were a number of important agenda items, of which two related to a white paper on federation and a white paper on Australia's tax system. We also agreed to a new scheme on asset recycling, to strengthen our efforts on increasing Indigenous children's school attendance, and also had a good discussion about the transition to a commonwealth-led paid parental leave system.

In relation to the federation white paper, there was agreement across first ministers to work together in a genuinely collaborative way to look at the situation as it is now, and look at proposals to improve on the federation and its processes. There will be a number of key issues examined through this which will raise, I think, different opinions on different sides of the debate, not necessarily along party lines but on genuine differences of opinion about how the federation works and, indeed, how the tax system works.

But I think we all start with the same principles, which are to look at ways to improve the federation, to make sure that we are running our services in the most efficient and effective way, and that the government that is closest to the delivery of services should in the main be the government that delivers those services. That is an important white paper and the ACT government will remain involved with that.

It is interconnected and interrelated to the tax reform white paper, which is probably going to get a little bit more of the attention as it relates to revenue and how states, territories and the commonwealth raise revenue in particular. We are, of course, undergoing our own tax reform here in the ACT, which has us leading the nation. Indeed, many of the discussions around the tax reform agenda were how to make it


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