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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 407 ..

Ms Follett: How much was forgone on $11m?

MRS CARNELL: Zero. There is no money, as you rightly say - Ms Follett just admitted that - involved in this situation. What there is, though, is a very definite message that the ACT is somewhere where you can come and incorporate, where you can come and employ, where you can make sure that you do pay the taxes and charges that a company based in this city pays. Personally, I think that is a much better deal than a big fat zero.

Waiver of Stamp Duty

MR MOORE: My question is also directed to the Chief Minister - that is, the Minister for finance - with reference to the $11m worse off that this Territory is by her decision. What action have you taken to approach other finance Ministers to end this type of Dutch auction or this type of rort by which companies avoid meeting their taxation burden, which means, of course, that big business pays less tax, thereby leaving a greater burden for ordinary people?

MRS CARNELL: Mr Moore actually has asked a very sensible question. Ms Follett laughs, but it is actually a very sensible question. It is important that State Treasurers and finance Ministers do have a constructive and consensus approach to all of these areas. As Mr Moore would be aware, there is a current national rewriting of the stamp duty legislation which, of course, will mean that in quite a number of finance areas we will have a consistent nationwide approach. At this stage the ACT has been quite instrumental in writing up that new legislation, and we have continued to push those States that at this stage have not signed off, at least on the draft, to be part of that approach.

MR MOORE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, you say that other States which did not waive stamp duty actually did not get any adjacent benefit. Could you name those States? I think it also would ease people's minds if you could tell us about the donations made by CRA to the Liberal Party and the Labor Party in the various States or federally.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Moore, I can guarantee that, as far as I am concerned, CRA has not donated one dollar or, for that matter, one cent to the ACT Liberal Party. Whether it actually has - - -

Mr Moore: What about federally?

MR SPEAKER: It is out of your purview.

MRS CARNELL: Certainly, as far as I know, that is the case. I think that is very much the case. As Mr Moore would be aware, a number of the States, particularly when these deals went through, were not necessarily Liberal States. The two States that have waived with regard to CRA are New South Wales and Victoria. There is also the ACT now, obviously. I do not believe that they have actually approached anyone else.

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