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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1588..


responds to the needs of a growing city by enhancing productive capacity and providing the foundation for improved services.

We are preparing an approach to market now for new court facilities. We are developing a new subacute hospital for the city. The University of Canberra public hospital will help met the growing demands in our health system and provide an opportunity to work in partnership with the university to train our local health workforce. These are just some examples of the government's investments in a $1.3 billion infrastructure program for the city.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how important is tax reform for the ACT's economy?

MR BARR: Tax reform has certainly been on the agenda in this country for some time. It has clearly been placed fairly and squarely on the national agenda following Tuesday night's budget, with a particular focus, obviously, on the federation and tax reform white papers that the commonwealth government is initiating. It also comes off the back of work of the previous federal government, particularly in the commissioning of the Henry tax review.

It is of course worth stressing again and placing on the public record, as the federal Treasurer has suggested that adult and grown-up governments tackle tax reform, that this adult and grown-up government has. We are the only government in this country that has actually been prepared—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: Here we go. Here we get the juvenile, childish response from the opposition to the mention of the words "tax reform". Tax reform always gets them animated, Madam Speaker. That is because they lack the maturity to engage in a sensible taxation reform debate.

Mr Hanson, on Friday morning, standing next to me, said how important it was to respond in a structural way to the Henry tax review. We commissioned a tax reform paper and we are enacting its recommendations. We are phasing out inefficient and unfair taxes and transitioning to a fairer, broader-based land tax.

Mr Hanson: Fairer?

MR BARR: Yes. Rates are a much fairer way of raising revenue than stamp duty. Stamp duty is a bad tax and we are pleased to be abolishing it. (Time expired.)

Transport—light rail

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development regarding light rail. Yesterday, 14 May 2014, the Canberra Times quoted the Chief Minister as saying, about light rail, that the government's consideration may or may not include changes to the route. Did the master plan


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