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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3497 ..

been able to keep any growth in taxes and charges very modest. That has been the focus of this government—to keep those increases, where they are required, modest and affordable.

But, as our city continues to grow, and demand for services continues to grow, governments of all political colours will always have to look at their revenue. The issue with the taxation revenue, as I have said a number of times, has not been about growing the revenue base of the territory at all. It is about ensuring that what we are collecting is done on a fair and equitable basis. And that is the issue that Ken Henry drew attention to in his taxation review.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Treasurer, are there any new or additional taxes that you will rule out?

MS GALLAGHER: I know where Mr Smyth is trying to get to with this—a bit of scaremongering—but I am not, prior to the taxation review starting, seeking to limit the extent of that review. There may be changes that come out of this taxation review, and I am going to leave that to the panel to provide their advice to government.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, is Mr Quinlan’s brief to find more ways to tax them till they bleed but not until they die?

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Quinlan’s brief has been to chair the panel and follow the terms of reference for the review which have also been released.

ACTION buses—Belconnen bus interchange

MS HUNTER: My question is for the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and it concerns the new Belconnen busway. Minister, what is the date proposed for the opening of the Belconnen busway, and what ministers have been invited to attend the opening?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. I did ask Tony Gill, coincidentally, just a few days ago on what date he expected the new Belconnen busway to be open, and he said the middle of August. He preferred not to be more precise than “the middle of August”.

As to the opening, Ms Hunter, I must say that I was not aware that there was to be one. If you think we ought to go out with whistles and bells, maybe we could. Unless I am mistaken, Ms Hunter, now that you have raised the question, I will have to make inquiries of my office and perhaps at TAMS, but I am not aware that there was a scheduled opening. If there is to be one organised and I am not invited, I will be interested to know which ministers are going if I am not.

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