Page 513 - Week 02 - Thursday, 9 March 2006

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Thursday, 9 March 2006

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


MR SPEAKER: I acknowledge the presence in the gallery this morning of students from MacKillop Catholic College.

Duties Amendment Bill 2006

Mr Quinlan, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (10.33): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present this bill, which provides further tax relief for ACT businesses. As many Assembly members are aware, the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Reform of Commonwealth-State Financial Relations, the IGA, which underpins the introduction of the GST, required the states and territories to cease the application of certain taxes in 2001 through to 2005. The ACT abolished the financial institutions duty, the duty on quoted marketable shares and the debits tax.

The states and territories also agreed to review the need to retain other specified business taxes by 1 July 2005. The outcome of the ACT review was a package of reform measures first introduced in the 2005-06 budget, with a proposed timetable over the next five years. The ACT, along with Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, have proposed various abolition dates for the following duties where they apply: duty on core business assets, duty on rental arrangements, lease duty, mortgage duty and duty on unquoted marketable securities. New South Wales and Western Australia are yet to announce any decision on the abolition of any of the business taxes that still apply in those states.

Duty on non-real core business assets is the first business tax scheduled to be abolished. The ACT timetable then proposes to cease duty on rental arrangements in 2007-08, lease duty in 2009-10 and on unquoted marketable shares in 2010-11.

The bill amends the Duties Act 1999 so there is no duty liability on the acquisition of non-real core business assets on and after 1 July 2006. It was estimated in the 2005-06 budget that there would be an annual impact of $2 million on the bottom line when duty is abolished on transfers and transactions involving the goodwill of a business,

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