Page 2365 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013

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This bill also amends the required residency period for the grant. Currently, it is a requirement that at least one applicant for the grant reside in the property for a continuous period of at least six months within the first year of purchasing the property. With the commencement of this bill, the residency period will be extended to one year. This will help to ensure the integrity of the grant, as it will be more appropriately targeted to first homebuyers most in need who are purchasing their principal place of residence. The extended residency period will also assist the ACT Revenue Office in ensuring applicant compliance with the residency requirements.

This bill provides the required legislative amendments to implement this retargeted grant. For example, the bill amends the definition of an eligible transaction for the grant while providing definitions of new and substantially renovated homes. The bill also clarifies the new residency period of one year.

Retargeting the grant will help us to ensure its relevance to first homebuyers in the market, and assist these purchasers during the exciting time of purchasing their first home. It will also support the growth and activity of the territory’s construction industry. I commend the First Home Owner Grant Amendment Bill 2013 to the Assembly.

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

Legislation (Penalty Units) Amendment Bill 2013

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.48): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Legislation (Penalty Units) Amendment Bill 2013. The ACT’s statute book uses the concept of a “penalty unit” for offences to express a maximum monetary fine for an offence. Section 133 of the Legislation Act 2001 currently defines the value of a penalty unit as $110 for an individual and $550 for a corporation.

The Legislation (Penalty Units) Amendment Bill 2013 seeks to amend section 133 by increasing the value of a penalty unit rate for an individual by $30 from $110 to $140, and for a corporation by $150 from $550 to $700.

The proposed increases to penalty unit amounts for an individual have been determined through the application of the consumer price index to the value of a penalty unit since 2001. Since 2001 there has been only one adjustment of the value of an ACT penalty unit, and this occurred in 2009.

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