Page 4180 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013

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less than 26 weeks the concession amount is $2,000. For employment of more than 26 weeks the concession amount will be capped at $4,000.

The criteria for this concession have been developed with the employee in mind as well as large ACT businesses. The criteria help protect vulnerable members of our community in employment while providing a benefit to large organisations who employ them. Access to this concession will be limited to entities that are paying payroll tax, and I remind the Assembly, again, that we have the highest payroll tax free threshold of any state or territory in Australia. Most businesses do not pay payroll tax, but those that do will be eligible for this concession.

Entities excluded from accessing this concession will include some charities, government agencies and education institutions that are already exempt from paying payroll tax. There are a number of benefits to providing increased employment opportunities for young people living with disability in the ACT. This is one area where there would appear to be support across the political divide—that is, that vulnerable members of our community can achieve greater levels of personal and financial independence, social inclusion, self-esteem and a greater quality of life by having increased opportunities for rewarding employment. The territory’s biggest businesses will also benefit from the talents and skills that these individuals can bring to their workplaces.

This concession is designed to reduce some of the barriers that youth with disability face in achieving employment outcomes. It encourages businesses to utilise the valuable skills and abilities of school leavers with disability. I am delighted to commend this Payroll Tax Amendment Bill 2013 (No 2), a key commitment of the government for this parliamentary term, to the Legislative Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Amendment Bill 2013

Debate resumed from 31 October 2013, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.05): The opposition will be supporting this bill. Notwithstanding some of our long-held concerns about long service schemes where loyalty to a single employer does not seem to be a requirement, this bill cleans up some of the less worthy aspects of the bill from 2009 that have proved to be problematic. The brief—and I thank the minister for the brief that was given—explained that, in many ways, the bill is too technical as it is. It is too prescriptive and could be interpreted as not allowing legitimate purposes, for instance, paying the rent.

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