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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1670 ..

Goods and Services Tax (Temporary Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill 2001

Mr Humphries , by leave, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (5.08): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I ask for leave to have my presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

Mr Speaker, in the ACT, most taxes, fees and charges are set by determination rather than through principal legislation. Utilising the legal reasoning as appeared in the Federal Airports Corporations case, it would appear that this method of establishing fees and charges places the revenue base at risk.

This case Mr Speaker, has highlighted the argument that this practice should be changed to provide that whenever a charge imposed by government exceeds the reasonable cost of levying the charge, the measure should be specifically endorsed by this Assembly.

Members may recall that as an interim measure to maintain the status quo, this Assembly agreed to the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (Temporary Transitional Provisions) Act 2000 (the Act) to allow further time for discussions on the most suitable remedy for this matter and to protect the ACT's taxes, fees and charges from technical attack.

Just briefly Mr Speaker, the Act provided three things-

� where an amount payable for a taxable supply is fixed under an Act or subordinate law, the amounts payable for a taxable supply can be increased by the GST payable for the taxable supply;

� that where an Act authorises the determination of a fee, charge or other amount, the authority includes the power to determine an amount that is a tax, inclusive of the GST; and

� that the Executive may make consequential and transitional regulations with respect to any matter arising from, connected with or consequential on the introduction of the GST (this provision however, already expired on 31 October 2000).

Mr Speaker, the Act has an expiry date of 30 June 2001 as it was contemplated that discussions with the Select Committee for Justice and Community Safety and the Assembly would be completed and remedial legislation prepared in sufficient time.

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