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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2023 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 31 August 2023) . . Page.. 2457 ..

Thursday, 31 August 2023

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) (10.00): Members:

Dhawura nguna, dhawura Ngunnawal.

Yanggu ngalawiri, dhunimanyin Ngunnawalwari dhawurawari.

Nginggada Dindi dhawura Ngunnaawalbun yindjumaralidjinyin.

The words I have just spoken are in the language of the traditional custodians and translate to:

This is Ngunnawal Country.

Today we are gathering on Ngunnawal country.

We always pay respect to Elders, female and male, and Ngunnawal country.

Members, I ask you to stand in silence and pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Payroll Tax Amendment Bill 2023

Ruling by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, before we commence the business of today’s sitting, I wish to make a statement in relation to the Payroll Tax Amendment Bill 2023.

The bill was introduced on Tuesday, 30 August by Ms Lee MLA. As stated in the explanatory statement for the bill, the intent of the legislation is:

… to exempt wages paid to general practitioners (GPs) under a relevant contract from ACT payroll tax …

The bill does not contravene the provisions of standing orders 200 or 201, as it is not a proposed enactment for the appropriation of public money. However, as members are probably aware, the Assembly passed a resolution on 23 November 1995 that stated:

That this Assembly reaffirms the principles of the Westminster system embodied in the ‘financial initiative of the Crown’ and the limits that initiative places on the non-Executive Members in moving amendments other than those to reduce items of proposed expenditure.

That resolution was moved, debated and agreed to prior to the resumption of consideration of the Appropriation Bill 1995-1996 at the detail stage. The debate on the matter raised broad principles of importance relating to the financial initiative of the Crown and its application to the territory’s system of government. It is now standing order 201A.

It is fair to say that the Assembly moved to embody more formally, through the resolution, the doctrine of the financial initiative of the Crown in anticipation of a number of amendments to the appropriation bill that had been foreshadowed by private members. With the resolution having been passed, later that day the Speaker ruled that the amendments were out of order on the basis that they offended the recently passed resolution.

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