Page 348 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017

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I note that this removal of stamp duty has been bitterly opposed by our political opponents on the conservative side of this chamber over two elections now. They have run outrageous scare campaigns against the most important and fundamental tax reform being undertaken by any state or territory government in this country in this century.

They have opposed it twice. I am delighted to say that they remain on the opposition benches, and will continue to do so whilst they continue to oppose the most progressive and important tax reform in this country at the state and territory level.

The particular benefits that come for purchasers are outlined in this bill. Changes to conveyance duty are part of a wider transformation of revenue collection. The replacement of the existing revenue collection system makes significant improvements to the way tax is collected and administered. It delivers a better, a faster and a smarter service to ACT taxpayers.

The government allocated $30 million across three years to the revenue collection transformation project, which is part of our government’s digital Canberra action plan. Overall, we are investing $85 million in a range of digital technology initiatives to improve the government’s services to Canberrans.

The bill will commence upon my written notice to align the commencement with the new IT system. The Revenue Office, along with the Land Titles Office, will engage stakeholders to provide plenty of advance notice of the change. Engagement with stakeholders, including conveyance solicitors and banks, to help them understand the new model has already begun and will continue in the months ahead.

This reform can be delivered in the ACT for two reasons. The first is the ACT’s land titles database, which centralises details about almost all land in the territory due to the leasehold system of property title. The ACT government is also the only state or territory government that has responsibility for collecting general rates—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR BARR: I see that the former Leader of the Opposition, in his new bearded hipster guise, is following me again, Madam Assistant Speaker. This is a very important reform. What it means is that—

Mr Hanson: What else am I following you in?

MR BARR: Too many policies; too many policies. The ACT government, as I say, is the only state or territory government that has the responsibility for collecting general rates. This gives the territory a unique and ongoing relationship with all property owners. It provides an avenue for the Revenue Office to verify transfers of property with the new owner after the transaction is finished.

One important element of this bill is the inclusion of conveyance duty as a tax in arrears that is payable with the sale of land for tax in arrears. This means that stamp

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