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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 2750 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

and existing definitions bring under the Act the actions of Territory employees, whether or not they are officers of the Public Service, as well as consultants or those otherwise acting on behalf of the Territory. However, the current terminology in the body of the Act focuses on "officers". In the face of changes to the composition of the Public Service and the fact that other government businesses not employing public servants are also covered, wider terminology should be used. The Bill adopts the use of an existing term, "public official", throughout the Act. This ensures the widest possible coverage.

These are, for the most part, housekeeping or technical amendments aimed at improving the operation of the Act. They reflect the Government's continued interest in fraud control and high standards of integrity for public sector employees. Where there is evidence of corruption or misconduct, it should be dealt with quickly and efficiently. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Whitecross) adjourned.


MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.40): Mr Speaker, I present the Stamp Duties and Taxes (Amendment) Bill 1996, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this Bill amends the Stamp Duties and Taxes Act 1987. The Stamp Duties and Taxes Act imposes stamp duty on a number of commercial transactions which have a nexus with the Territory, including the transfer of shares in ACT incorporated companies and transfers of shares listed on the Australian Stock Exchange traded through brokers located in the ACT.

Mr Speaker, the Commonwealth Government recently made a public offer of its remaining 50.4 per cent shareholding in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which amounted to approximately 400 million shares. Due to its desire to attract as many investors as possible to take up the Commonwealth Bank shares, the Commonwealth adopted a more complex sales structure than has been used in the past. That structure involves both payment by instalment and the issue of a new form of security, which can be traded both privately and on the Australian Stock Exchange.

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