Page 3038 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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In education, we will deliver the better schools funding reforms to our schools, and that will help our universities attract more students from around the country and the world.

The last clause of Dr Bourke’s motion talks about tax reform. We are creating a tax system that is better for business and fairer for families. It is a 20-year program, and it is ambitious. But the long-term benefits to the growth of businesses and investment in jobs in the ACT mean that this agenda will continue to be a high priority.

Building on changes already made, a number of further changes to the ACT’s taxation and transfer system were introduced in the 2013-14 budget: cutting the duty on insurance premiums by a further 20 per cent, as you have heard, from 1 July 2013, further reducing the rate of stamp duty across all property values, accelerating the reduction in stamp duty for property transactions above $1.65 million by introducing the flat rate of 5.5 per cent, increasing the first home owner grant to $12,500 and retargeting the grant for the purchase of new and substantially renovated properties, further expanding the eligibility and range of the homebuyer concession scheme and introducing a payroll tax concession for the employment of school leavers with disabilities.

As this motion makes clear, the government is working in all parts of the ACT community to support the economy, support jobs and support those who suffer from disadvantage.

It is an appropriate time to make a few comments on Mr Hanson’s reading of our dissenting report, and I thank him for bringing that forward—575-odd recommendations. I think that was a great effort by those from the government side in the estimates process. It should be pointed out, of course, that it could have been a collaborative opportunity there during that estimates process, but the chairman of the committee chose otherwise.

Of course, he noted today a few grammatical errors. There are certainly a couple of grammatical ones. That is because our office had to do all of the work. If we had a secretariat, as the chair had, if we had spent the $10,000 that the chair had in extra assistance, then possibly those grammatical errors would not be there. But I am still very pleased that we did—

Members interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Doszpot): Sit down for a second.

MR GENTLEMAN: I am nearly out of time, Mr Assistant Speaker.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Okay, keep going.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you. But I thank him for bringing it forward, and I support this motion.

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