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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 8 June 2017) . . Page.. 2120 ..

26,000 businesses that operate in this territory pay no payroll tax at all. This is a distinct advantage for ACT small and medium-size enterprises.

It demonstrates our commitment to simpler, fairer and more efficient taxation arrangements, as recommended by about 40 different reviews of the Australian taxation system over the past five decades, most recently the Henry tax review. It again recommended that state and territory governments move away from inefficient taxes like stamp duty and insurance taxes and move towards the simplest, fairest and least distortive tax available to any government in this country.

That is a broad-based land tax. It has the least impact on economic activity; it is impossible to avoid; and it is the fairest tax available to any government in this country. Anyone who looks objectively at taxation reform can only conclude that inefficient transaction taxes that disrupt economic activity, that result in a dead weight loss, a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity, should be avoided. We should move away from those taxes and we should move to broad-based land taxes.

This government is the one government in this country making a serious effort to do this. Even Prime Minister Turnbull acknowledged that it was the right reform. He also acknowledged the political difficulty of it but applauded our efforts. (Time expired.)

Crime—parole review

MR HANSON: My question is to the Attorney-General. The Prime Minister has called for “serious reforms of parole laws” as a “high priority” for state and territory governments. Attorney-General, will you review parole laws in the ACT, and if you will, when will you do so?

MADAM SPEAKER: The question will be taken by the justice minister.

MR RATTENBURY: I have obviously been apprised of the Prime Minister’s comments this week and have been reflecting on the circumstances. What I can say is that the ACT over recent years has undertaken a number of reviews of our bail laws. It is something we are constantly aware of and, certainly in light of a number of high-profile incidents in recent years, bail issues in the ACT have been reflected on and reconsidered by my directorate. I am happy to provide particulars to Mr Hanson on notice if he wishes, but I cannot think of the dates to provide off the top of my head.

MR HANSON: I am not sure whether it is to the Attorney-General or Mr Rattenbury, but I will ask the question anyway. Will you now review the operation of bail laws in the ACT, following the Prime Minister’s call, which was for a review of parole laws?

MR RATTENBURY: I offer similar comments to my previous ones, which were that there has been effort put into these areas in recent years. I am happy to provide the details to members on notice.

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