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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2550 ..



whole matter needs to be looked at very carefully. We constantly seem to be tripping ourselves up. Commonwealth health card holders get a certain concession that is not available to people who get concessions from the ACT government.

I therefore welcome the concession review that the minister has undertaken to conduct. As I say, we in the opposition will accept it, and we will do so without prejudice. Whilst I acknowledge Ms Dundas' comments in relation to gold card holders, pensioners, students and veterans, I am, of course, and I will remain, concerned about self-funded retirees. Therefore, I accept your concession review-I repeat, without prejudice-and I still retain my claim for some sort of financial justice for self-funded retirees.


(11.44), in reply: Obviously, for the reasons that have been highlighted, this disallowance is not supportable. Ms Dundas, in putting her case for why this regulation should be disallowed, made the point that there are concerns about the part-payment of registration fees. Mr Cornwell does not seem to think people who take advantage of part payment are necessarily poor. However, I would think most of the people who pay in this way because they want some disposable income are certainly not well off.

The method of paying registration fees has been raised in previous Assemblies. I am interested to see that the Liberals are now are sympathetic to considering changes. This has not always been the case. This matter has been raised on a number of occasions in this place in the time that I have been a member. ACTCOSS, in particular, has drawn attention to it. But it is good to see that the Liberals have had a change of heart. It is especially good to see the Labor government picking it up today and giving a commitment to make changes.


(11.46): I thank members for their contribution to this debate today. Some very good points have been made and I believe that this debate has been warranted. I take on board the point that members have made that we don't want to throw out the entire vehicle registration scheme and, as I said, that is not what I was intending to do. I brought on this debate so as to inform the Minister and make the Assembly aware that there are problems with the vehicle registration scheme in the way it is put forward in this determination.

The Minister has given some assurance today on the public record that he will, as quickly as he can, carry out a comprehensive review of the surcharges and concession arrangements and how they relate to registration schemes. He said that this review will consider reducing administration fees and the like. That assurance has been given on the public record and I will hold him to account.

I welcome the offer to be involved in the process to ensure greater equity of fees. Considering that I have had assurances from the Minister that, in essence, what I am looking for will take place-and I could not amend the determination; I could only move to disallow it-I see no reason for the disallowance to go ahead. If what the Minister has promised does not happen, we will come back to the Assembly and have this debate again.

Motion negatived.

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