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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4717 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

that be to return the sacred soils of Cyprus to the Cypriot people. The Cypriot people are the ancient and rightful custodians of that land.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Concession scheme on property rates for people on low incomes

Debate resumed from 24 September 2003, on motion by Ms Dundas:

That the ACT Government develop a proposal to provide rates concessions to all people on low incomes, including more generous concessions for pensioners, and present this to the Assembly by the last day of sitting in December 2003.

MS DUNDAS (5.52): I seek leave to move an amendment to this motion.

Leave granted.

MS DUNDAS: I move:

Omit "by the last day of sitting in December 2003", substitute "with the Government's response to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts' inquiry on Revenue Raising Issues in the ACT.".

I will just briefly talk about the amendment. I am basically moving this amendment because the debate started on this particular motion a month ago, and I think a reporting date of December is now a little bit unachievable, even for the fantastic workers within the Department of Treasury. So after consultation with members, I have moved that we actually ask the government to report on a rates concession scheme and table this report with the government's response to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts inquiry on revenue-raising issues in the ACT.

I understand the Public Accounts Committee has been working very hard on this inquiry and is hoping to report over the next couple of months. I think that the work the government is doing on this issue will be very well considered in concert with the work being done by the Public Accounts Committee. We can see both responses at the same time and be fully informed as we move on to talk about revenue and rates in the ACT.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (5.53): Mr Speaker, members will recall that Ms Dundas moved this motion on 24 September this year. During that ensuing debate a number of amendments were moved and defeated; hence we have before us today the motion as originally moved by Ms Dundas, with an amendment. Mr Speaker, members will also recall that a major impetus for this motion was the proposal from the Treasurer to implement a radical new system for imposing rates on residential properties in the ACT-a bill that was soundly rejected by the Assembly.

But whatever the reason for this motion, Mr Speaker, the fact remains that the intention is to seek new proposals for the provision of concessions for specified groups from within our community to reduce the impact of rates on home owners in those groups. Mr Speaker, as a principle, the Liberal opposition wants to ensure that a satisfactory

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