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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1300 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

Mr Speaker, personal preferences come into these things. I find discrimination of any form absolutely abhorrent. I know that view is shared by the Assembly-it is just a question of how we can eliminate it. I am very grateful for that support. I know the gay and lesbian community will also be grateful for that support.

The point has been made that we need to be a bit careful, when we progress down this track, that other casualties are not created. So I embrace a cautious, but firm, approach of progressing the fight against discrimination.

I thank Mr Humphries for his support of the motion. It is perfectly consistent with what his party has been doing in the past couple of years. I am grateful to my own party for its longstanding opposition to anything to do with discrimination.

I also want to express appreciation to Ms Dundas. We understand exactly where she is coming from. It is an honourable position to be coming from-it is just that the Assembly is not prepared to move as fast as she would like.

However, it seems we are all moving in the same direction, and that is to be applauded.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.23 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Payroll tax

MR HUMPHRIES: My question to the Treasurer, Mr Quinlan, concerns payroll tax. The Victorian government announced in its budget delivered yesterday that it will further reduce the impact of payroll tax on Victorian businesses. As you would be aware, on 1 July this year there is to be a scheduled rise in the payroll tax threshold in the ACT, taking the threshold below which payroll tax is not paid to $1.5 million total payroll. Can you confirm, Treasurer, that your government will increase the payroll tax threshold as planned on 1 July this year?

MR QUINLAN: The short answer is no. We will have to have a look at it. I understand from the last figures I got on payroll tax that we are not actually collecting as much as was anticipated in the budget, and there may be some reasons for that in terms of the level of employment being fairly flat in the ACT. It may be a process of management of payroll tax liability, and this could have something to do with the way we have structured ours.

As Mr Humphries would no doubt be aware, different states have different structures for payroll tax-different thresholds and different rates. So at this point in time I will not guarantee to include in the next budget something that you foreshadowed in your last budget.

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