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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2004) . . Page.. 3299 ..

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming, and Acting Minister for Planning) (11.13), in reply: I thank the opposition for their support. I thank Ms Tucker. I think this is relatively simple legislation, consistent with the report of the Cole commission and consistent with legislation in New South Wales. There has been some discussion about not-for-profit organisations or charities. Let us look at the layers of protection they have. First of all, they are not subject to most of the heavy taxes anyway. Second, there is the protection that has been built into the legislation under proposed section 56E, which provides a defence for directors, and, third, there is the capacity under the Financial Management Act for a waiver of tax to be considered by the Treasurer.

If this legislation was weakened in any way to compensate for the very unlikely situation that has become a point of difference, that would allow the legislation to be exploited. This is about closing loopholes and eliminating exploitation of the law and the phoenix companies that are deliberately created, do not pay tax, fold, and rise again—particularly labour hire companies. I doubt very much whether this legislation will become a disincentive to directors. It does not matter so much whether you are a director of a for-profit or not-for-profit organisation; you do have fiduciary responsibility. You will be governed by ASIC, which is a far stronger control than this legislation represents. So, all in all, this is good sensible legislation and the objections that have been raised are not valid.

I understand that the Democrats brought up consultation. My office spoke to their office and asked who they know who has any objections coming from out of left field on the charitable organisations. We did not get a response. I do not know that that is a problem. Also I defend the amount of time that members have had to look at this. It is reasonable and it is quite consistent with time we have with other legislation, given that it is not particularly complex. I think the whole thing has been quite reasonable. I commend the bill to the House.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Amendment Bill 2004

Debate resumed from 14 May 2004, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (11.17): This bill seeks to set up a distinct pathway in the act for involuntary treatment for people with a mental illness and for people with a mental dysfunction. While the bill makes no major changes in how the Mental Health Tribunal deals with people suffering from a mental illness, the changes in the way one deals with people who have a mental dysfunction are very significant.

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