Page 1878 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2011

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The ACT provides a payroll tax exemption for employment agents only in circumstances where the employment agent itself is the exempt body. Exempting employment agents who on-hire to exempt organisations such as the commonwealth could result in significant revenue loss for the ACT.

All wages paid by defined charitable organisations are exempt from payroll tax in the ACT.

In the ACT, the exemption for wages paid to an employee for maternity and adoption leave is more generous than other jurisdictions as it includes primary carers such as a domestic partner or grandparent of the child. It is proposed that these exemptions will be retained in the new payroll tax legislation.

In an effort to further reduce compliance and administrative costs for businesses, the government will continue to work with other jurisdictions to maintain legislative consistency. We will also explore opportunities to further streamline administrative arrangements. This will include improving the consistency of business practices, taxpayer information and administrative and compliance requirements. A practical example of this will be the re-issuing of payroll tax information circulars by the Commissioner for ACT Revenue where there are common topics and themes with other jurisdictions.

To simplify the introduction of the new provisions for business, the bill provides for a 1 July 2011 commencement date to align with the normal annual payroll tax liability and financial year. I commend the Payroll Tax Bill 2011 to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Planning and Development (Lease Variation Charges) Amendment Bill 2011

Ms Gallagher, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.17): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, today I present amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2007, the Planning and Development Regulation 2008, the Taxation Administration Act 1999 and the Unit Titles Act 2001. These amendments are required to implement the reform of the change of use charge system in the territory, including its codification.

The change of use charge has been in place in the ACT since 1971. It is an integral part of the territory’s unique leasehold land system. Under the betterment principle, a

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