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As it currently stands, the Act exempts such a sale from franchise fees because the wholesaler has paid a franchise fee in relation to the sale. This was clearly never intended, and the proposed amendment will ensure that the ACT receives the fees which are due and payable for sales of tobacco and petroleum products which occur here.
Mr Speaker, the diesel fuel exemption scheme currently provides relief for primary producers and the holders of health care and pensioner health benefits cards. This Bill proposes to extend the exemption scheme to include totally and permanently incapacitated pensioners. This will bring the exemption into line with other concessions provided in the ACT.
Mr Speaker, a number of other amendments proposed in this Bill are aimed at improving the administrative procedures relating to the operation of the Act. The intention of the Act is that applications for the renewal of a licence be made seven days before a licence expires. It is proposed to amend the Act to clarify this intention. Also there is no express requirement that the fee be paid at that time. The Bill provides that licence fees are to be payable no later than seven days prior to the date that a licence is due to expire. In addition, an amendment is proposed requiring group wholesalers and group retailers to pay the basic licence fee for each outlet where tobacco or petroleum products are sold. This will place licensees with one outlet on a more equitable basis with group licensees who currently pay only one basic fee regardless of the number of outlets from which tobacco or petroleum products are sold. This amendment also more accurately reflects the costs and intent of licensing the premises from which tobacco and petroleum products are sold.
Mr Speaker, in order to enable the tobacco and petroleum products traders and the general public to know whether they are dealing with a licensed body and to assist in the identification of illegal traders, an amendment is proposed making it a condition of the licence that it must be displayed clearly on the licensed premises. This will greatly improve the regulatory intent of the Act. In addition, this Bill proposes that a register of licensed wholesalers and retailers be developed and maintained by the Commissioner for ACT Revenue and made available for examination by any person.
The ACT currently imposes a $500 penalty for anyone who fails to return a diesel fuel exemption certificate which has lapsed, ceased or been revoked. The amendment Bill proposes an amendment to remove this penalty for a lapsed certificate. The penalty is considered onerous, particularly for pensioners, and since the certificate has expired it cannot, in any event, be used. The penalty for the failure to return a revoked or ceased certificate will remain as the certificate would, on its face value, appear to be valid and therefore could still be used.
Finally, Mr Speaker, I will be circulating an amendment to this Bill - I would just like to foreshadow that - which will have the effect of imposing a sunset on the deeming provision in clause 4. As members would be aware, the question of the power to legislate that sales in one State are deemed to have taken place in another State is currently before the High Court. Therefore, there is some uncertainty about the future of this provision as a basis for raising revenue through franchise fees. In the event that this aspect of the business franchise legislation may be subject to a decision of the High Court, and in the expectation that the High Court will rule within two years, the Government has decided