Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 5 May 2005) . . Page.. 1841 ..
This initiative realises a longstanding commitment to the club industry and, by having gaming machine tax rates that are independent of GST paid to the commonwealth, will make the ACT consistent with all other jurisdictions in this regard. The removal of the GST credit scheme, together with the corresponding decrease in gaming machine tax rates, will take effect from 1 July 2005. These measures will have minimal financial implications for the ACT, as the proposed change in the gaming machine tax rates will be revenue neutral for overall gaming machine taxation collected by the territory.
The simplification of the tax calculation system will benefit both club licensees and the Gambling and Racing Commission in verifying tax liability payments. In addition, the new system provides for an increase in the tax-free threshold from $8,000 to $15,000 gross gaming machine revenue per month, and will allow clubs to pay their GST quarterly rather than monthly without the fear of missing out on some of their GST credit because their GST payment exceeds their gaming machine tax liability. This will allow clubs, particularly the smaller ones, to save on administrative time and expense.
As was stated in this year’s budget papers, the gaming machine tax rates will increase from 1 July 2007 and will raise an estimated additional $5.3 million per annum. This will be achieved by an increase in the top two marginal gaming machine tax rates only. The increases are from 16 per cent to 17 per cent for those larger clubs with an annual gross gaming machine revenue in excess of $300,000, and from 18 per cent to 21 per cent for the largest clubs with gross gaming machine revenue in excess of $600,000.
This government recognises the important role that clubs play in the ACT in providing broader services to the community. Unlike, for example, Victoria, where most gaming occurs in privately owned and commercially focused hotels, the ACT club industry uses its revenues to support its members and the community by providing valuable services and facilities.
This government is acutely aware that a number of the clubs in the ACT are presently experiencing some financial pressure and are likely to be adversely affected by the introduction of more stringent smoking restrictions at the end of next year, at least in the short term. That is why the government has decided that the increase in gaming machine tax will not occur until the 2007-08 financial year and will only apply to the larger clubs. I commend the Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2005 (No 2) to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Mulcahy) adjourned to the next sitting.
Unit Titles (Staged Development) Amendment Bill 2005
Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (10.53): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.