Page 3096 - Week 10 - Thursday, 18 October 2007

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An option to renew a lease can only be assessed for duty once the option is executed. The bill amends the Duties Act to make explicit that, where a lease executed before 1 July 2009 contains an option for renewal, that option is dutiable where the main purpose was to defer execution until after the abolition of lease duty. This brings the practice into line with the use of other arrangements that might be employed to avoid duty by delaying the execution of a new lease.

The final amendment clarifies what duty may be refunded if a lease is terminated before the end of its term. The Duties Act provides for a refund of duty if neither the lessee nor any associated person continues to lease the property under a new arrangement. The bill broadens this provision to include a lease of substantially the same property to deter a new lease from being structured slightly differently to the terminated lease just to avoid duty. I commend the Duties Amendment Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Mulcahy) adjourned to the next sitting.

Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2007 (No 2)

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (10.35): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I present the Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2007 (No 2). This bill provides for a number of minor and technical amendments to the Gaming Machine Act which will enhance its operation. I will take the opportunity to briefly talk to a number of the more important amendments.

In order to address the government’s concern regarding community contributions by gaming machine licensees for the funding of problem gambling issues, this bill proposes an incentive scheme to encourage licensees to increase expenditure to assist with the funding of problem gambling matters. The incentive scheme will provide that, for every $3 contributed by a gaming machine licensee, the licensee can claim $4 towards their annual community contributions.

To be an eligible contribution for this incentive scheme, funding must assist in alleviating problem gambling, such as the provision of counselling services; assist in alleviating the disadvantages that arise from problem gambling, such as by providing family support services or assistance or provide information about problem gambling, such as through research or surveys. The scheme will also recognise the importance of funding appropriate training for staff to provide assistance to people affected by problem gambling.

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