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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1310 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

of provisions in the ACT Stamp Duties and Taxes Act 1987, the Coles Myer decision creates uncertainty for ACT taxpayers. This decision could have significant implications for the ACT since the concept of a share transfer contained in the ACT legislation would appear to be similar to that in the Victorian legislation.

On 30 May 1998 I announced the Government's intention to amend the Stamp Duties and Taxes Act 1987 to ensure that duty is payable on share buyback transactions. In addition, Mr Speaker, as a safeguard measure, the amendments will validate both past and existing assessments. No new obligations are imposed on companies involved in share buyback transactions.

Mr Speaker, the changes proposed in this Bill will ensure that share buyback transactions authorised by the Corporations Law are assessable for duty under the Stamp Duties and Taxes Act 1987 and will protect the Territory's revenue base, retrospective only to the extent that the amendments validate past assessments in relation to ACT share buyback transactions.

Mr Speaker, I commend this Bill to the Assembly. I would like to suggest to the Assembly that this is an urgent piece of legislation which would need to be passed in this sitting period.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan) adjourned.


Motion (by Mr Stefaniak) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Arts - Funding

MR WOOD (6.52): Mr Speaker, I propose over the next few days, if I have the opportunity, to read a small sample of a large number of letters the Opposition has received about the cuts to the Institute of the Arts. These are passionate letters from people who care about the arts and who know about the arts. They are in response to actions by a government which appears neither to know nor to care about the arts.

The first letter is from Mr Gavan Griffith, QC, a former very high level public servant. When my office asked Mr Griffith whether we could read this letter to the Assembly, he wholeheartedly agreed. It is addressed to Kate Carnell and copied to Mr Stanhope. It is dated 6 August. It reads:

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