Page 2232 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 9 May 2012

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MR BARR: No, Mr Speaker.

MS HUNTER: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, what key decisions, as mentioned by the Chief Minister earlier in question time, does the government need to get right in order to manage the federal public service job losses?

MR BARR: The important decision we have taken is to cut payroll tax. That will provide a tax cut for 1,865 ACT businesses and allow 115 businesses within the territory to no longer pay payroll tax. You do some very simple maths, Mr Speaker. If each of those businesses that are receiving a payroll tax cut employed just one more person then we would be able to absorb the impact of the commonwealth public service reductions. I do not anticipate that every single business will be in that position, but I know a number will, and there will be a number of talented people who will be in the labour market and available for those businesses to employ.

Importantly, as we move forward, we need to make a number of changes to our taxation system in order to encourage further investment. But let us be realistic about this, Mr Speaker. The south-east corner of Australia is going to see dramatic economic transformations as capital and labour move to the north and to the west. That is what the mining boom is doing. One need only look at the investment pipelines over the next five years to see where capital in this country will be invested. That is going to be difficult for New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT and, to a lesser extent, South Australia, although they are putting significant resources into their Olympic Dam mining project.

What we are going to see is an opportunity here for some serious tax reform. I look forward to that debate. I look forward to a sensible contribution from those in this place who I know have a passion for this city’s economic future.

Ms Gallagher: Mr Speaker, I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Bail provisions

Debate resumed.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (2.51): The amendment moved by the government today is a complete disgrace, and I have touched on this lightly and Mr Hanson has dwelt on it to some further extent. Really what Mr Corbell says in his justification is that he does not want to provide the data that has been called for in the original motion because “it cannot be extracted at the press of a button”. So what it comes down to, as Mr Hanson rightly characterised it, is this: it is too hard and, because it is too hard, this government is too lazy to address this issue.

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