Page 1561 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 May 2006

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I love hearing Mr Mulcahy come out and defend the WorkChoices legislation. We all love hearing how Mr Mulcahy and the Liberal Party think that the WorkChoices legislation is a fine piece of legislation that will benefit Canberra families. We know that it will not; we know what it means. More tellingly, so do the people of Canberra. They understand what this legislation means and they expect their government here in the ACT to represent their interests before the High Court in the same way that every other state and territory in the country either is already represented in the High Court or intends to be very shortly.

MR MULCAHY: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Can the minister confirm that the ACTU and Unions ACT have refused to contribute funding to the High Court challenge? What are their reasons for doing so?

MR CORBELL: You have to ask that question of the unions; I cannot answer that question.


MS MacDONALD: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Chief Minister and Treasurer, Mr Stanhope. Yesterday in debate the shadow treasurer asserted that the ACT is already up with New South Wales as one of the highest taxed jurisdictions in Australia. Is this statement correct? Can the Chief Minister tell the Assembly what the facts are?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. We all recall yesterday Mr Mulcahy’s assertion that the ACT is the highest taxed jurisdiction in Australia, alongside New South Wales. It is important that we address that particular allegation. The short answer to the question is that Mr Mulcahy was simply wrong; his assertion was false, a practice which is catching.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: is this question reflecting on a vote of the Assembly yesterday?

MR SPEAKER: No. She asked a question of the Chief Minister.

Mr Smyth: A vote was taken on this issue yesterday.

MR SPEAKER: It is not a reflection; it is a question of the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister is entitled to answer it.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Mulcahy was wrong yesterday to assert that the ACT, along with New South Wales, is the highest taxed jurisdiction in Australia. He was wrong to make the assertion, based on either taxation per capita or taxation as a proportion of GSP.

Here are the facts: first, on a per capita basis, on the latest information available on comparative taxation regimes, from the Australian Bureau Statistics catalogue 5506 of 29 March 2006, it is clearly the case that the claims of the shadow treasurer are, on a per capita basis in relation to the ACT, wrong. On a taxation per capita basis, the ACT is well below the national average.

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