Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 August 2008) . . Page.. 3255 ..
But what about the impact on low-income families, the working families that this government is so proud of, and who the government thinks should be driving Lotuses and Lexuses? Again, ACTCOSS was not consulted either. Most people on low incomes probably do not go out and buy new cars. The sorts of cars that they would normally purchase are not Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and certainly not Lotus. This bill should probably be called the luxury car tax rebate bill.
The other aspect is the affront to the Assembly. Apparently the launch has already been organised. I have a letter that was sent to Mr McGilvray at the MTA that simply states, “The ACT government will be launching the green vehicle duty scheme on Tuesday, 2 September 2008”. The invites are out. People have been asked to bring their cars to the green vehicles launch. There is an Audi A4, a couple of Jeeps, a Lexus, a Lotus, a Mercedes-Benz and a Peugeot on sale. The list goes on.
It is quite arrogant, Chief Minister, to be sending out the invites to your launch when you actually have not yet had the scheme validated by this place—
Mr Mulcahy: Just a rubber stamp.
MR SMYTH: That is right. Then again, there is nothing to fear for a majority government. We just do what we want. It is sheer arrogance on the part of the Stanhope government to be sending invites out and inviting the car sales people to actually bring their vehicles. The list is here. These are the vehicles they want on display. A more appropriate form of advice would have been to tell the motor vehicle industry that while there is a proposed launch date for the scheme the legislation is still to become law. But, no. Once arrogant, always arrogant. This is so typical of the Stanhope government.
At this point the opposition is not prepared to support this proposal. Once again it appears to be a tax proposal by the Stanhope government that has not been fully and properly prepared. There are issues with this proposal, especially regarding the impact on small business, on families and, in particular, on tradespeople. I note that we will require additional information when we debate the proposed new duty regime in the Legislative Assembly. (Time expired.)
MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.08): This is one of those bills that look quite good and quite innocuous on the surface but which have fairly wide ramifications for government accountability to the legislature. The bill appears to do little more than make a fairly minor administrative amendment to the mechanism for ministerial declarations as to rates of duty on motor vehicles.
Specifically, the bill amends section 208 of the Duties Act, which deals with the rates of duty for motor vehicles, by adding an additional section—section 208 (3). This section provides that section 139 determinations under the Taxation Administration Act, which allow the minister to make declarations regarding the rates of duty on motor vehicles, can incorporate an instrument as enforced from time to time. Whereas under the existing system, the ministerial declaration would need to be amended and reissued in order to change the rules for the assessment of duty, the amendment put