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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 52 ..

Legislation program-autumn 2001

Paper and statement by minister

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer): Mr Speaker, for the information of members I present the following paper:

Autumn 2001 Legislation Program, dated 13 February 2001.

I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank members. Mr Speaker, I am pleased to present the government's legislation program for 2001. As the parliamentary year is shortened by the October election, there will only be one government legislation program covering both autumn and spring sittings.

The focus of this program combines financial and business matters that require annual attention with the government's drive for responsible management of the territory and responsiveness to community concerns. In the time available to me I will comment on only a few items that are a priority for the government. There are a number of items on this program which I invite members to look at in more detail.

The most critical bill for the operation of this territory, of course, is the 2001-02 Appropriation Bill which will be tabled on 1 May. The passage of the bill by the Assembly will authorise the maximum amount of public money that can be legally made available to departments for the 2001-02 financial year. As part of the budget package, amendments will be proposed to sections 13 and 22GM of the Rates and Land Tax Act 1926 to prescribe any required changes to the rating factors for 2001-02.

Mr Speaker, it is proposed that there be a further three stages of amendments to the Duties Act 1999. Stage one was introduced during 2000. Stage two will remove avenues of avoidance on certain transfers of dutiable property resulting from voluntary transfers of a commercial nature under a Commonwealth act, put and call options and share rights alterations. Stage three amendments will be designed to improve the overall administration of the act to strengthen divisions to prevent loss of duty and provide an extension of concessions as necessary. In addition, it might be necessary to further amend the act to respond to the effect of Commonwealth amendments to the Corporations Act to make all Australian companies "incorporated in Australia", thus severing the current jurisdictional nexus. Amendments may be necessary to maintain a nexus for marketable securities so the ACT can continue to receive duty on share transactions.

Mr Speaker, it was announced in the 2000 budget that the insurance levy would cease to apply after 30 June this year, and to give effect to that initiative the government will introduce a bill to repeal the Insurance Levy Act 1998 to ensure that the commissioner is not required to issue advanced assessments in May this year.

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