Page 4860 - Week 16 - Tuesday, 26 November 1991

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To the Honourable Chief Minister and Members of the ACT Assembly

The petition of the undersigned expresses extreme concern over the current state of regulations in the ACT that provide for the use of organo-chlorine pesticides for the control of termites in the ACT.

The risk to the health of workers, the community and the environment is far too great to allow the practice of applying organo-chlorines to continue.

Your petitioners want you to exclude the use of organo-chlorines in the ACT by way of Legislative or Regulation alteration immediately to protect the health of people and the environment alike.

By Mr Wood (from 619 residents).

Petitions received.


Payroll Tax

MR KAINE: I address a question to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. I ask whether the Chief Minister and Treasurer agrees with the proposition to do away with payroll tax as part of a financial restructuring, as proposed in the Hewson program for reform?

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Kaine for his question. I think that I have made my views on Dr Hewson's proposal fairly clear. I truly believe that for the ACT, which is the area that I represent, Dr Hewson's proposals would see wholesale unemployment in the public sector. Because of the size of the public sector in our economy, it would lead also to a massive downturn in all of our industries and to a rise in unemployment there as well. For the ACT, what Dr Hewson has proposed would be an utter disaster, viewed on that basis alone.

There are, of course, other grave problems with Dr Hewson's proposal. On the issue that Mr Kaine has specifically asked about - payroll tax - I should say, first of all, that it would be a great pleasure for me to abolish payroll tax; but I would do so only if I could find another source for the $85m or so current revenue from payroll tax in the ACT. At present, it is patently obvious to me that nobody has come up with a viable alternative to payroll tax.

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