Page 51 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2006

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Financial Relations by ceasing the collection of duty on non land related core business assets. This is the first step in the program for tax reform that was announced in the 2005-06 ACT budget.

Additionally, the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill will introduce amendments to the Duties Act, the Taxation Administration Act and the Payroll Tax Act to ensure that self-managed superannuation funds are able to access concessional duty treatment on the retirement or appointment of a trustee. Secrecy provisions in the Taxation Administration Act also will be strengthened to restrict the production of taxpayers’ personal information in a court of law to where that information is required for the administration or execution of a tax law. The bill will also expand the wages to which the Payroll Tax Act applies to include funds paid or payable by electronic funds transfer.

To honour the commitment made at the 27 September 2005 Council of Australian Governments meeting regarding ACT anti-terrorism legislation, I will introduce new laws to fight terrorism but which will uphold the basic principles of human rights. The Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Bill will deliver on the ACT’s promise for anti-terrorism laws to complement the national package.

The government will also continue its program of legislative reform by modernising and updating ACT legislation through various statutory law amendment and portfolio legislation. Following on from the 2004 review of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994, the government will introduce a bill for a new act to replace the existing law. The proposed new act will provide clearer, more effective and more accountable mechanisms for making, investigating and resolving disclosures about public maladministration. It will strengthen measures for protecting disclosures from unlawful reprisals and will improve compliance monitoring and reporting on public interest disclosures across government.

The Legal Profession Bill 2006 will repeal and replace the current Legal Practitioners Act 1970. This will be a major milestone in achieving consistency and uniformity in the regulation of the Australian legal profession. It will also make it easier for lawyers to practise across state and territory borders. The mosaic of state and territory based regulatory regimes for the legal profession has, over the years, imposed unreasonable burdens on practitioners who want to practise interstate. Further, consumer interests are not served by differences that interfere with efficient business practices. To address that, the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General agreed to develop model laws to facilitate legal practice across state and territory jurisdictions. The ACT legislation will incorporate this model into ACT law.

An important government priority is assisting those in need in our community and those who provide them with vital assistance and support. To acknowledge the valued and often unrecognised contribution of carers to the ACT community, the Carers Recognition Bill will be introduced to effect the recommendations arising out of the review of carers legislation. Also, the Powers of Attorney Bill 2006 will implement recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Health and Community Care in its report on elder abuse relating to powers of attorney.

This bill will also address issues arising out of the review of the substitute decision-making scheme in the ACT. The amendments will provide for a number of

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