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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 303 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

That is the sort of stuff that we really need. Remain assured that the legal profession will really have to lift its game because, with such legislation, we will be needing fewer of them. My office, particularly Mr Kirchner in my office, has spent many, many hours wading through this. He is still, I am assured, reasonably sane. Overall, we are prepared to support the Bill, the consequential Bill, and the amendments that we have received so far. We share the reservations voiced by a couple of business organisations that notification of the amendments might have been a bit sooner and that maybe more amendments are to come. At the bottom line, this is machinery legislation which, we are assured, does not impose additional taxes, so it remains the responsibility of government. We just take that small leap of faith in supporting it.

MR KAINE (11.54): Mr Speaker, I have noted the Bill in general and I support it, but there are a couple of issues that I would like the Chief Minister to explain when she closes the debate. In the closing paragraphs of her tabling speech she referred to some matters that were still under discussion and she said that the amendments would be forthcoming before the Bill was debated here. I see that we have some amendments, both to the Bill and to the Duties (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill, but I have not had a chance to go through them carefully to make sure that all of the matters that she referred to have been taken care of. I can see, specifically, the one about purchasing a combination of blocks and making sure that the developer is not charged at the total cumulative value. I can see the reason for that amendment.

Another point was whether or not the conveyancing rate or the lower market securities rate would be payable in certain cases. I think the amendment to the Duties (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill deals with that, but I am not sure. If the Chief Minister could explain that, I would appreciate it.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (11.55), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank members for their support for this legislation. I take this opportunity to thank all of the officers who have spent, literally, very long periods of time getting this legislation and the legislation that we passed on Tuesday up and in such a readable form.

Mr Speaker, I take exception to the comments printed in the Canberra Times yesterday and comments that Mr Quinlan made earlier with regard to consultation. The consultation process with regard to this Bill has been significant. Copies of early drafts of the Bill were made available to major business and industry groups since September-October last year. Drafts were also placed on the Revenue Office web site for the information of businesses and their professional advisers. Following the issue of drafts, meetings were held with a number of industry groups, including the Canberra Business Council on 2 December last year, and it was as a result of this meeting that the Government foreshadowed amendments to the Bill when I tabled it in the Legislative Assembly on 10 December.

These amendments related to the aggregation provisions that Mr Kaine has spoken about and to the continued imposition of duty at marketable security rates on the transfer of business assets, to maintain the current duty imposition on the building industry, and to

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