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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2534 ..

We also are confident that our initial engagements with Hong Kong Airlines will be productive in the medium term and we look forward to further engagement with tourism industry stakeholders in the south-east Asian region as we continue our efforts to improve international connectivity to Canberra. Of course, this approach worked with Singapore Airlines. We continue our partnership with Qatar Airways, and we will always seek to encourage new airlines to fly to Canberra.

I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Gaming—poker machines

MR BARR: Ms Le Couteur asked a question, and Mr Parton a supplementary, relating to the increase in gaming tax revenue projected over the forward estimates. In my answer I alluded to a range of factors that will contribute to that.

In addition, I draw both Ms Le Couteur’s and Mr Parton’s attention to page 239 of budget paper No 3, which outlines that:

Gaming tax revenue for 2018-19 and beyond includes a provision for the point of consumption wagering tax. The tax will be introduced on 1 January 2019 and will be set at a rate of 15 per cent of the net wagering revenue received by betting operators from bets placed in the ACT, or bets made online by ACT residents.

That provision accounts for the bulk of the increase projected in gaming tax revenue. So in this instance, in addition to general economic activity and population growth, Ms Le Couteur, there is also a new tax, and that adds to the gaming tax revenue. We will be introducing that bill tomorrow, I understand. I have given notice of that. Members can consider that bill. But it is a tax line that I have announced previously. All other Australian states and territories are introducing that tax line. I think it is entirely appropriate that gaming revenue be increased to tax that particular form of gaming activity, and I will have more to say about that in the chamber tomorrow.

MS LE COUTEUR: I seek leave to explain something. Mr Barr has not answered the question I actually asked.

Leave granted.

MS LE COUTEUR: Mr Barr, my question deliberately referred not to the latest budget but to the figures in the budget before. Because I knew there was a new tax and I did not know how to separate them out, I went to the year before.

MR BARR: I again draw Ms Le Couteur’s attention to the budget papers, which had both a provision for that new revenue initiative and the forecast over the forward estimates period. But my initial answer remains. Factors that contribute to increasing revenue include inflation, wage increases and population growth, and the increase in that tax line as a proportion of the overall tax line is minimal. You would need to undertake an analysis of both.

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