Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3642 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
particular reference to equity and efficiency, but I do not have the terms of reference in front of me. From memory, the committee has had some submissions on the question of concessions. I am pretty sure that the ACTCOSS submission of July 2002 on ACT government concessions became a part of our inquiry into ACT revenue. Someone has just given me the terms of reference. They read:
...inquire into and report on revenue raising issues in the ACT, with particular reference to:
(1) the adequacy, equity, efficiency, certainty and sustainability of revenue raising in the ACT;
(2) the impact of revenue raising on social equity, the environment and the overall economy of the Territory, in particular the employment and investment opportunities; and
(3) the value for money of the cost-effectiveness of incentives which involve forgoing revenue.
I do not want to support Mr Quinlan's amendment. I checked with the acting clerk on whether there was a problem with having this motion on the notice paper in light of the fact that the committee is looking at that and it is in order.
Turning to the reporting date in Ms Dundas's motion, the Public Accounts Committee is hoping to complete the revenue raising inquiry by December 2003. What will happen is that we will produce a report for the government which, hopefully, will help the government to come up with a proposal generally around revenue, including the question of rates and concessions. The government already would have the benefit of the submissions, because they are authorised for publication by the committee, including the one by ACTCOSS on concessions.
I think that it is probably fine just to leave the process as it is right now. I think that it is fine that Ms Dundas has raised this motion and I think that it is appropriate for the government to be the one that comes up with a proposal. We can certainly support the government's thinking via the work of the committee. I do not know about coming up with the ultimate proposal at this point in time, but the committee can inform the government's work. As well, the government has a whole department, which we do not have, to help inform its thinking. I know that Mr Quinlan is concerned about being criticised for what he comes up with. Hopefully, the committee's report will help inform his thinking and that, in combination with his departmental advice, will produce something that is useful for the community.
MR STEFANIAK (4.59): This motion certainly does have merit. A number of rate concession programs have been available over the years to people on a low income. In fact, this proposal is not dissimilar to the study that we commenced in relation to this question in, I believe, early 2001. I think that it was commenced through one of the departments for which I had responsibility. I am not quite sure where that got to with the change of government; maybe somebody in the government can tell us that.
The motion asks the government to develop a proposal. I suppose that it does not actually commit it to doing so and, if the Treasurer tells us that there are some really big