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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5038..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

legislation. This bill will ensure that taxpayer legislation, both past and present, enjoys equal protection under the act.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (4.39), in reply: I thank members for their support of this legislation. I would like to have put on record what the legislation is about, but already today three people have told us what it is about. I understand the concerns of the opposition about legislation going through quickly and their desire to possibly adjourn this debate. As to which piece of legislation ought to be adjourned, I think this one would be a bad choice, given that it could give rise to problems once it becomes known. If the bill is passed, problems will not occur.

MRS BURKE: I seek leave to speak. I will be speaking for and on behalf of the opposition on this matter.

Leave granted.

MRS BURKE: We will be supporting the bill.

Mr Quinlan: I knew that!

MRS BURKE: I just wanted to place that on the record. Thank you, Mr Quinlan, and thank you, members.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

First Home Owner Grant Amendment Bill 2003

Debate resumed from 27 November 2003, on motion by Mr Quinlan:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (4.41): The opposition will be supporting this bill. Recent publicity surrounding the first home owners grant scheme has demonstrated once again how careful legislatures need to be when framing legislation. Despite this care, there will inevitably be some situations not anticipated in the original drafting of legislation or arising after legislation has been passed that mean that subsequent amendments are required.

The bill we are debating today contains two principal measures. It limits the circumstances in which grants may be paid to applicants who are under the age of 18, and introduces a six-month period of residency that must be satisfied before a person becomes entitled to apply for a grant. Both these measures are quite reasonable. In relation to the first-restricting access to people over 18-it is fascinating to observe


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