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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 4044 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

(4) Upon the publication in the Gazette of a determination -

(a) referred to in paragraph (3)(a) - subsection (1) shall be taken to have expired, or

(b) referred to in paragraph (3)(b) - subsection (2) shall be taken to have expired.

(5) A determination referred to in paragraph (3)(a) or (b) is not a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 10 of the Subordinate Laws Act 1989.

(6) A determination referred to in paragraph (3)(a) or (b) has effect according to its terms, and may be revoked or varied, as if it had been made under subsection 99(1) of the Taxation (Administration) Act.".

Mr Speaker, these amendments were circulated earlier today and I understand that members have been briefed on them. They came about as a result of an extensive consultation process with stakeholders in the industry. They bring this Bill further into line with the multijurisdictional stamp duty rewrite and into line with the taxes that exist in New South Wales. In the interests of time, Mr Speaker, rather than run through the amendments separately, as members have had a briefing, I think I will leave it at that.

MS TUCKER (9.57): I would like to speak briefly. The Greens will be supporting those amendments and this Bill, which introduces the stamp duty on hiring arrangements in the ACT. The Greens are very aware of the rather limited tax base of the ACT and the increasing needs for social welfare services, as well as the need to invest in protection of our environmental assets and the pressures on our revenue base. Of course, the recent Federal budget has further increased the economic and social pressures facing the ACT and, as far as tax goes, we simply cannot have our cake and eat it too.

Having said that, I would like to point out the reasons why this is not a particularly sensible tax. If we had a better tax system we might well think twice about supporting a tax which is, essentially, a financial disincentive to the hiring of goods. As policy-makers, I believe we should be encouraging conservation of precious resources. From this point of view, institutions and businesses which encourage the sharing of resources and goods rather than everyone owning their own, be it libraries or the hiring of TVs or motor cars, should be encouraged rather than discouraged. Stamp duties on house purchases similarly are an important revenue source; but, if we were prepared to make a fundamental overhaul of our tax system, we might reconsider the wisdom of penalising people for moving into different forms of dwellings where it is appropriate.

However, at this stage, the Greens are not prepared to knock back a revenue initiative which is in all the other States and which will increase the ACT's revenue base by over $2m a year. We also note that hiring arrangements excluded from duty include the loan of a book, hire of a movie or hire of an invalid aid or prosthetic device. Hiring by schools, hospitals and charities will also be exempt. I am happy to support this Bill.

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