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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 2751 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

Under the terms of the sale offer, successful investors were required to pay a first instalment of $6 per share, at which time they were issued with an instalment receipt - also known as an "IR" - which evidences the investor's beneficial interest in the share. The shares themselves were transferred to a trustee company owned by the Commonwealth, to be held in trust for the investor until such time as the second and final instalment of $4.45 is paid. The last date for payment of the final instalment is 14 November 1997, but investors may pay the balance at any time prior to that date. On payment of the final instalment, the trustee company will transfer the shares to the purchaser. In the meantime, investors may trade in the instalment receipts, both privately and on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Mr Speaker, the purpose of this Bill is to expand the definition of "marketable security" to include instalment receipts, to ensure that they are liable for stamp duty. This action is being taken to protect our Territory's revenue base and is in line with action being taken by Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory already have broad marketable security definitions, while New South Wales recently enacted legislation to duty such instruments.

To provide certainty for the Commonwealth Government, brokers and potential investors, I issued a media release on 14 July 1996 announcing the ACT Government's intention to duty such instalment receipts from their date of first issue. Similar announcements were made by the Victorian, Queensland and Western Australian governments. I also announced that legislation would be introduced in the spring sittings at the earliest possible date. While the legislation will have retrospective effect from 15 July 1996, it was not possible, obviously, to introduce the legislation during the autumn sittings because we did not have sufficient details about the newly created instalment receipts.

Mr Speaker, passage of this Bill will ensure that the Territory is entitled to duty on all private transfers of instalment receipts, together with any trade in instalment receipts on the Australian Stock Exchange through ACT brokers. While it is expected that most trading in instalment receipts will take place through brokers in Sydney and Melbourne, some revenue is expected to flow to the Territory, although the amount cannot be quantified at this time. Finally, Mr Speaker, it is appropriate for members to be made aware that the definition of "instalment receipt", as currently drafted in the Bill, is sufficiently broad to cover other Commonwealth Government privatisations, such as Telstra, should they follow the same sale structure. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Whitecross) adjourned.

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