Page 4941 - Week 11 - Thursday, 21 October 2010

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Commissioner of Taxation that volunteer brigades do not meet the strict PBI criteria, Taxation Ruling (TR 2003/5) specifically mentions bush fire brigades and states “Search and rescue teams which consist of volunteers, and voluntary organisations such as bush fire brigades which have as their central purpose the provision of direct relief to persons in distress, may qualify as public benevolent institutions even where they are government sponsored. This will be so where they are not arms of government and subject to government control.”

(2) The ACT Rural Fire Service continues to be funded as part of the Emergency Services Agency within the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

(3) I do not intend to make representations to the Commissioner of Taxation about this matter. The Australian Taxation Office ruling clearly notes that where voluntary organisations such as bush fire brigades are subject to Government control that the PBI provisions do not apply. In addition, the Emergency Services Commissioner has advised that our Bushfire Volunteer Brigades would not benefit from PBI status as they are volunteers and as such are not remunerated for the work they carry out. Any provisions relating to PBI status would only apply to full time public servants.

(Question No 1058)

Ms Bresnan asked the Chief Minister, upon notice, on 26 August 2010 (redirected to the Minister for Land and Property Services):

(1) What work is being done to ensure that the ACT Government Affordable Housing Action Plan remains evidence based.

(2) What are the ACT Government’s definitions of ‘affordable housing’ and ‘housing stress’ and what data does the ACT Government gather on an ongoing basis to monitor these measurements, at the median and at different percentile levels.

(3) Does the Government use gross income or disposable income when defining affordable housing and housing stress and, if gross is used, why is this used rather than disposable.

(4) What are the latest updates that the ACT Government has for the data and tables that were provided in the Affordable Housing Steering Group Report of 2007, most especially tables 2.2, 3.1, 3.2.

(5) Which housing groups, based on households income levels and income percentiles, are shown to still be suffering housing stress, and which groups are suffering increased housing stress.

(6) How do these households referred to in part (5) compare to households that earn the median income level.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

1. The Affordable Housing Action Plan falls under the responsibility of the Department of Land and Property Services in consultation with the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services, and ACT Treasury. Regular consultation occurs between

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