Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2080 ..
MR HUMPHRIES: I want to know whether to support the amendment, Mr Quinlan. I want to know whether you have answers to these questions.
MS DUNDAS (6.39): I would like to respond first to the comments made by the Treasurer. He indicated that if the bill goes through unamended the guidelines will be retrospective. However, I think this is a false promise. It will not assist organisations looking to find money now to pay their insurance premiums. Under my amendment, organisations will have to find less money, because they will not be paying the duty on top of their insurance bill.
Mr Quinlan has misread my amendment. As Mr Humphries pointed out, the definition of not-for-profit organisation clearly states that it is an organisation "that has a constitution prohibiting the organisation from making a distribution in money, property or any other way to its members other than for salary or allowances".
I also said that I am looking to expand the definition of insurance, because groups get insurance policies combining a range of types of insurance, and these policies do not usually indicate what portion of the policy relates to public liability or any other type of insurance.
To answer Mr Humphries' question: I believe that paragraph (l) in proposed section 201A (1)-which states, "any other kind of insurance determined by the Minister in writing"-will allow the Department of Treasury to deal with any problems as they arise. Proposed section 201A (1) contains a comprehensive list of insurance that is used by sporting and non-profit organisations. I would be quite surprised if there was any other insurance they were accessing, but paragraph (l) is there to allow for greater scope if problems arise in working out exemptions.
The point of my amendment is to make this important idea broader, immediate and subject to accountability. If we are to help our community and sporting organisations, let us do that, not just provide hollow promises. And let us do it now, to the best of our abilities and in the most accountable and beneficial way, which is what my amendment provides for.
I urge the Assembly to support my amendment, because it will give us a system that provides immediate relief, which is what everybody has been calling for, and it will provide clear processes for working out who is eligible for this relief, so that we have some accountability and not the current situation of the minister exempting organisations from duty without any reference to the Assembly. We have no idea who is being exempted. It could be organisations that, compared to Little Athletics or junior soccer clubs, are rolling in money and not worthy of an exemption.
As I said, let us make this change broader, immediate and subject to accountability by supporting my amendment.
That Ms Dundas' amendment be agreed to.