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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 3 Hansard (21 March) . . Page.. 1011 ..


place on Tuesday morning in response to the Christchurch attack is indicative of how this chamber is of one mind when it comes to these issues. Having said that, and especially having heard the remarks of Mrs Kikkert, I reassure the government that they have our full support in this initiative.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Social Inclusion and Equality, Minister for Tourism and Special Events and Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment) (4.56), in reply: I thank all members for their contributions to the debate on this Harmony Day and am pleased we have a note of very significant harmony on this matter. It is indeed a very positive reflection upon this place, and I thank each member for their contributions.

I acknowledge Mrs Kikkert's long list of benefits in relation to the importance of diversity and inclusion. It is very clear from all academic research and lived experience in this city and elsewhere around the world that the most successful harmonious communities are ones that embrace their diversity, embrace points of difference and celebrate the joy of diversity. We in Canberra should be proud of our collective efforts over many decades to support and encourage that diversity.

Membership of the Welcoming Cities network is an important next step. I think it is a good thing that on Harmony Day we reach this point of harmony this afternoon. We may not continue that into the debate on revenue legislation; nevertheless, it is a good and unifying moment for this Assembly and for this city in what has been a traumatic week for New Zealand, for us in Australia and around the world.

The commitment in the motion is that the ACT government undertake a benchmarking assessment against the world city standard by the end of 2020. In signing up today, on Harmony Day, we also commit to working through that assessment process by the end of 2020, which will also be the end of this parliamentary term. I thank members for their unanimous support of the motion this afternoon.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

Debate resumed from 14 February 2019, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (4.59): The opposition will be supporting the technical components of this bill, but we oppose some of the other substantial elements. The legislation makes a number of technical amendments. However, it also contains some substantial changes which I believe merit further comment and probably further investigation—namely, the inserted duty exemption for the universities, the change to the default tax rate and the expansion of tax debt recovery mechanisms available to the government. Such a bill probably is best to go to a committee for further investigation. Whilst this is presented as a form of omnibus bill, some significant policy decisions are contained in this legislation. As we have


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