Page 4987 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009

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I am very pleased that the commonwealth have now, after years of agitation on this issue, agreed that the issue should be reviewed. They have agreed to establish a joint committee, an intergovernmental committee, which will be chaired by the NCA. Three ACT departments will be represented on it—the Chief Minister’s Department, Territory and Municipal Services and ACTPLA—and four commonwealth departments. I am hopeful of a positive outcome from the commonwealth in relation to that.

We are aware, of course, that if pay parking does become a reality in the triangle we will need to address issues around ACTION bus services. We are beginning to do that through the Redex service—a service deliberately targeted at the parliamentary triangle and Russell, and deliberately designed to move between the city, Russell, Barton and Kingston.

In conclusion, there are a whole range of other issues that go to the relationship between this government and the commonwealth government. Relations on the NCA, the Burley Griffin vision and the management of the city are, generally speaking, very constructive and positive. I am pleased with the strength of the relationship because these issues are of great concern to each of us. (Time expired.)

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): The discussion is concluded.

Payroll Tax Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed from 15 October 2009, on motion by Mr Hargreaves:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3.55): The opposition will be supporting this bill. I thank the Treasurer for arranging a useful briefing on the bill. The provisions contained in this bill, while not formally part of the COAG payroll tax harmonisation project, are intended to achieve greater harmonisation of payroll tax regimes across Australia. In brief terms, this bill tackles the issue where an employee lives in one jurisdiction and works for some of a month in another jurisdiction. At present, there is imprecision as to where the payroll tax liability for this employee lies. That is because the liability is determined by the location of an employee’s bank account. This could be a location quite unrelated to either the location of the employee or even the employer. Hence, as the Treasurer said, this nexus is inappropriate and outdated.

The ACT has recognised this issue for some years, and it is emphasised by the juxtaposition of Canberra and Queanbeyan. Unfortunately for the ACT, as we are a small fish in a big pond, it was not until there was an issue between bigger players—New South Wales and Queensland—that this issue finally made the national agenda. That history notwithstanding, it is good that this issue is now being tackled by all jurisdictions.

Issues with payroll tax around the nation include the fact that many employers have employees working in different jurisdictions, and these employers have to maintain

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