Page 2734 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 16 August 2005

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information of members I present the following paper:

Legislation Program—Spring 2005, dated August 2005.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to present the government’s legislation program for the spring 2005 sittings. Since re-election, the government has continued to implement the policies for which it was returned. In this regard, the government will work further on the many achievements already made to date while maintaining a strong focus on substantial reforms and responsible governance. We will do this while also looking to be economically, socially and environmentally responsible in the current tight budgetary circumstance, yet still being responsive the needs of the ACT community.

Mr Speaker, in the time available, I can outline only briefly some of the legislation that the government will introduce during the spring 2005 sitting period. Given the present challenging economic and financial climate, we will strive to improve the territory’s economic performance by further enhancing financial measures and addressing better efficiencies and effectiveness. Chief among these will be new legislation to amend ACT taxation laws and for increased accountability arrangements, including performance management reforms.

Firstly, the government will introduce the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2005 (No 2) as part of a continuing program of omnibus bills to amend ACT taxation laws. This will improve administrative efficiency and generally protect the revenue base. It will effect three particular improvements to the administration of ACT taxes: assessment of duty on the purchase of new vehicles is to be made easier; liability for insurance duty is to be better defined; and debt collection options available to the revenue office are to be made clearer.

Amendments will be introduced to the Financial Management Act 1996 which will provide standardised and improved governance arrangements for selected statutory authorities. New and amended provisions will replace specific outdated provisions contained in the enabling legislation of various statutory authorities. It will also extend the appropriation framework to include payments to statutory authorities. Minor administrative amendments are also included for improving the application of the act.

The government will introduce a bill to amendment the Hotel School Act 1996, as the Treasurer has indicated, to make provision for all the undertakings of the Australian International Hotel School to be vested in the territory as of a certain date. It will enable the territory to sell the undertakings of the Australian International Hotel School to a private sector entity.

This government strongly believes in human rights and the need to protect all ACT citizens. Legislation is to be brought forward that will standardise and simplify search and seizure powers currently operating in the ACT. Whilst the functions of inspectors are often quite similar, for many years now slightly different powers have been made each

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