Page 4953 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 28 November 2018

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one more example of the way that we can encourage Canberrans. We do not want to deal with the tragic consequences of neglecting this and allowing things to continue as they are.

With the support of my colleagues, I present the Domestic Animals (Dangerous Dogs) Amendment Bill 2018 to the Assembly. I encourage other members of the Assembly to consider very carefully public opinion about dog control and dog management, the need to protect Canberrans and the need to bring in more and better measures to encourage responsible dog ownership and to discourage irresponsible dog owners. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Steel) adjourned to the next sitting.

Income support

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (12.16): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) while Canberra is a high income community with a growing economy, a substantial number of Canberrans struggle financially, for example people on low wages and many people that rely on Federal Government assistance payments;

(b) the ACT Government provides many services that are crucial supports for lower income Canberrans, including the public health system, public transport and public housing, as well as providing funding for financial counselling for people who fall into hardship;

(c) the ACT Government provides concessions to lower income households such as the utilities concessions and free off-peak public transport fares for pensioners – however, the ACT Government’s ability to target everyone who needs help is limited because Australia’s income tax and means-testing systems are operated by the Federal Government; and

(d) the ACT taxation system has existing policies and programs that can help people on lower incomes, such as rates deferrals and concessions for pensioners;

(2) further notes that:

(a) people struggling with their daily expenses can reach crisis point when bills like electricity, phone and rates arrive; and

(b) the ACT Revenue Office maintains a call centre for people with rates and other tax inquiries, and can be the first point of contact with the ACT Government for people facing financial hardship;

(3) further notes that:

(a) fines in the ACT such as parking tickets and lower level traffic infringements are a fixed amount regardless of income, which means they have a disproportionate financial impact on people who are on lower incomes and means they are disproportionately punished for the infringement;

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