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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2010) . . Page.. 79 ..

Ongoing reform and improved accountability and transparency continue to be a high priority for the government. For financial management, the Appropriation Bill 2010-2011 will be central to the legislative and financial agenda for the upcoming financial year. This is to be presented in May, providing appropriation to administrative units for the 2010-11 financial year.

Amendments are to be made to the Duties Act 1999, the Rates Act 2004 and the Payroll Tax Act 1987 by the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. The proposed changes to the Duties Act provide an exemption from duty on the purchase of a residential property by a special disability trust, where the property will be the principal place of residence for the beneficiary. The changes to be sought to the Rates Act will provide a rebate of rates if the beneficiary of a special disability trust is an eligible pensioner as defined under the Rates Act. The amendment to the Payroll Tax Act will introduce an exemption from payroll tax on wages paid to employees engaged in voluntary bushfire and emergency services work.

The Road Transport (Third Party Insurance) Amendment Bill 2010 will establish a mechanism for the compulsory third party regulator to report annually on the compulsory third party scheme in the ACT. It will provide a reporting structure for the regulator that will enable scheme statistics for the ACT to be transparent and accessible by the public.

Mechanisms for reallocation of gaming machines in the ACT will be addressed by the Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2010. The proposed scheme provides for the reallocation of gaming machines to areas of the ACT where there is growing demand both for gaming machines and for access to a local club and the community services the club provides. This will be done without an increase in the overall number of gaming machines and without creating a predatory environment that would lead to the swallowing of small clubs by larger ones.

Resolving of planning issues is also a priority, with several proposals to be progressed in the planning portfolio to clarify aspects of the Planning and Development Act and the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act. The proposed Planning and Development (Concessional Leases) Amendment Bill will remove uncertainty in the definition of “concessional lease” which currently makes it difficult for lawyers to advise clients seeking to purchase a lease, noting that a concessional lease cannot be transferred without ACT Planning and Land Authority approval.

Amendments to the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act will introduce a head of power that will facilitate licensing for building-energy-efficiency assessors. The amendments will also allow ACTPLA to more effectively enforce its disciplinary powers under the act. This includes working with other agencies in exchanging information for public safety reasons.

Changes are to be sought to the Building Act to create a greater mechanism whereby second and subsequent unit owners in multi-unit residential buildings can have access to adequate and timely compensation when breaches of warranty are discovered after the period of statutory warranty has ended.

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