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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5329 ..

(2) Where were these horses agisted when the symptoms of poisoning from Paterson's Curse became evident;

(3) What is the estimated value of the horses which have died.

Mr Stanhope

: The answer to the member's questions is as follows:

(1) On 30 October 2003 a meeting was held between the ACT Government Veterinarian, Will Andrew and the equestrian veterinarians working in the Canberra Region. The vets counted approximately 54 horses, that died or were euthanased, and whose deaths were most likely attributed to Paterson's Curse poisoning. Recent liver biopsies have confirmed that high concentrations of pyrolizidine alkaloid (the toxin in Paterson's Curse) are present in some of the deceased horses.

(2) 49 of the deceased horses were being agisted in private paddocks. 5 deceased horses were agisted in the ACT Government Horse Paddocks.

(3) It is impossible to estimate the financial value of the horses that have died from Paterson's Curse Poisoning. Many of the horses that died were in the later stages of their lives and not being ridden ($150), and some were younger horses (depending on the horse, financial values could range from $300-$3000).

Rental assistance

(Question No 1122)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice:

In relation to an article appearing in The Canberra Times on 20 November 2003, page 4 titled Musician wins rent rebate appeal in AAT and the comment that 'after 12 months as a rebate recipient, a self-employed person's income can be deemed to be that of a person in receipt of award wages. This is to ensure that taxpayers do not have to subsidise bad business people or those who keep incomes artificially low':

(1) What are the guidelines for this assessment;

(2) Is a person who simply wants to 'do their own thing' entitled to rental rebate and if so, why;

(3) Is a person who deliberately keeps their income low entitled to rental rebate and if so, why.

Mr Wood

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) After twelve months of being self-employed, a person is deemed to be earning the minimum award rate for the occupation in which they are self-employed. Where the person is carrying on more than one occupation, Housing ACT would use the occupation that was considered their principal occupation.

(2) Under the Public Rental Housing Assistance Program, the Commissioner may deem a person to be earning an amount that the Commissioner considers they may reasonably

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