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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3163 ..

canvas individual achievements against projections as these would act as a deterrent to businesses that want to invest in the ACT.

In addition, in the past some ACTBIS grants have been for feasibility studies while others have been to attract certain industries to the ACT without agreed employment targets.

Furthermore, some ACTBIS incentive packages have been in the form of payroll tax waivers which allows the level of assistance to move with actual employment levels experienced during the agreement period. No employment growth means no payroll tax waiver.

In the case of ACTBIS cash grants, these are not loans and are, therefore, provided on an unsecured basis. There are default provisions in agreements which provide for the repayment of assistance should an applicant not meet its obligations. However, in the event that a business fails there is a risk that the funds will not be returned to the Territory, particularly if these funds have been expended in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

(3) Non-cash incentives are usually offered in the form of a waiver of tax, duty, rent, fee or charge. A small number of agreements may involve the offer of a direct grant of land at or below market value.

The safest, and therefore most common, form of assistance offered through ACTBIS is a waiver of payroll tax. By its very nature, payroll tax is directly related to employment levels and, by specifically linking the waivers to new employees, the amount of payroll tax waived depends on the number of new jobs created.

Where possible, other concessions are linked to employment growth and normally include a provision for repayment or `discounting'. On those occasions where this is impractical, for example in the case of a direct grant of land, an applicant must meet more stringent requirements to satisfy the Government of the project's viability.

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