Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (17 November) . . Page.. 2543 ..
MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.32): I ask for leave to present the Debits Tax (Amendment) Bill 1998.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I present the Debits Tax (Amendment) Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MS CARNELL: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
Mr Speaker, the Debits Tax (Amendment) Bill 1998 makes a number of amendments to the Debits Tax Act 1997. These amendments arise from recommendations of the Wallis report concerning changes at the national level in the provision of financial services in Australia. Mr Speaker, one of these changes involves amendments to Commonwealth legislation to allow building societies and credit unions to issue cheques in their own names. This change will take effect from 1 December 1998. Under the current arrangements the Commonwealth Cheques and Payment Orders Act 1986 does not allow building societies and credit unions to issue cheques in their own names. The cheque-drawing facilities are provided by building societies and credit unions through an arrangement with a defined financial institution. Debits tax imposed on the defined financial institution is then on-charged to the building society or credit union account.
Mr Speaker, in order to facilitate a smooth transition of financial institutions to the new arrangements from 1 December 1998, it is necessary for States and Territories to amend their existing debits tax legislation. This Bill will enable building societies and credit unions to come under the definition of a financial institution; provide a uniform debits tax