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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2110..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

budget is a set of final decisions taken very close to budget day. It's just one of those many processes in government where you can't think out loud.

The new Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2) was developed to implement revenue initiatives announced in the budget. It's an omnibus bill and incorporates changes to the Duties Act in relation to the corporate reconstruction concessions and also amends the Gaming Machine Act in relation to marginal tax rates on gaming machines.

Presently, Mr Speaker, companies are exempt from paying duty on transactions which have arisen as a result of corporate reconstruction. This amendment to the Duties Act will replace the current corporate reconstruction exemption with a concession. Companies undertaking corporate reconstructions will now pay 5 per cent of the assessed duty. The government has ensured that the existing eligibility criteria and types of eligibility of transactions remain unchanged. This initiative is estimated to increase revenue by about $1.1 million in the next financial year.

The other initiative in the bill, Mr Speaker, relates to gaming machine tax. The tax rates for gaming machines have not been amended since 1999. Commencing from July 2003, the top marginal gaming machine tax rate will increase by 2 per cent, from 25 to 27 per cent, thereby limiting the effect of this initiative on those clubs with the most capacity to pay; that is, those with gross gaming machine revenue in excess of $600,000 per annum. It is estimated that this initiative will increase revenue by $3 million in the next financial year.

These two revenue measures announced are estimated, of course, to increase revenue by $4.1 million, Mr Speaker. I commend the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2) to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Order of the day-postponement

Ordered that order of the day No. 2, executive business, relating to the Bushfire Inquiry (Protection of Statements) Amendment Bill 2003, be postponed until a later hour this day.

Rates and Land Tax Amendment Bill 2003

Debate resumed from 3 April 2003, on motion by Mr Quinlan:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH

(Leader of the Opposition) (11.15): We now turn our attention to the government's Rates and Land Tax Amendment Bill 2003. Many of the comments I passed with regard to the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2003-about the nature of consultation and putting bills together-apply also to the Rates and Land Tax Amendment Bill.

Members will recall that we commenced the debate on a report of the Public Accounts Committee on this bill on Tuesday of this week. This bill is part of the government's


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