Page 5067 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 17 November 2009

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Certain types of vehicles that originally were intended to be excluded from paying the higher rate of duty are now listed. For example, buses which seat 10 or more people, caravans, trailers, plant or equipment are not subject to the higher rate. To allow for future changes in the motor vehicle industry, the amendments provide for additional vehicles to be added by regulation.

Amending these provisions will remove the uncertainty for taxpayers and those administering the legislation. I thank members for their contributions. I hope that clarifies the questions by Mr Smyth. In relation to the $45,000 threshold, that is something that I will undertake to review as part of the budget process.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Holidays (Family and Community Day) Amendment Bill 2009

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

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.47): This bill seeks to change the Family and Community Day public holiday and to remove all references to the former union picnic day from the Holidays Act 1958. The bill changes the date for the Family and Community Day public holiday from Melbourne Cup Day to the first Monday of the ACT schools terms 3 to 4 break. If that date coincides with the Labour Day public holiday, which it will in 2011 and 2012, the Family and Community Day will fall on the second Monday of that break. The bill also removes references to the union picnic day and associated awards.

The explanatory statement indicates that there was considerable interest in the public holiday consultation process, with more than 1,100 submissions received, 21 per cent of which supported a public holiday to coincide with Floriade or to celebrate the start of spring. While the explanatory statement spoke of consultation, until yesterday afternoon my office had not been provided with a copy of the consultation report, although we had asked for it a number of times from various ministers.

Happily, Mr Speaker, the government has responded to the community’s opposition to the public holiday, Family and Community Day, falling on Melbourne Cup Day. I cannot believe that anyone could get it quite so wrong, that anyone declaring a public holiday could create something which was so unpopular. It was seen as having a negative impact on workplace productivity because many people were taking a four-day break over that time. It was seen as having a negative impact on the ACT economy because the hospitality trade saw a significant downturn at the time, which

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