Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 That is not the end of the deception or the rubbery figures. In his budget speech, the Treasurer said that the introduction of poker machines would provide $6m in additional revenue in a full year when fully implemented. The budget papers include an additional $6m in revenue for 1995-96, despite the fact that the introduction of poker machines has been delayed until at least January. Mr Coulter: There is an answer to that. Mr EDE: Poker machines are not expected to approach full implementation until well into 1996. The Treasurer has started the year with an obvious $3m or $4m hole in revenue projection from this source alone. How will he magically obtain a full years revenue from half a year? If he can do that across the board, he will be Mr Magic, but he cannot do it. While the Treasurer has budgeted to collect $6m from Territory punters, as a result of the introduction of poker machines in hotels and clubs, he has failed to increase the taxation of the Territorys 2 casinos. Mr Coulter: That is not true. Mr EDE: Well, that is another tax that was not mentioned in the budget. The fact is that the Territory casinos are the lowest-taxed in Australia. Insult has been added to injury for Territory punters, because they will have to pay a levy to the casinos for the use of poker machines in Territory hotels and clubs when they are finally installed. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that this is a good budget. There can be no doubt that the Treasurer got the message from the casinos. That is good for the casinos. Elsewhere in Australia, casino taxes range from 15% in Western Australia, where they also pay $350 000 a quarter in licence tax, up to Tasmania, where they are charged a 25% to 35% levy, plus $0.5m in licence taxes and a community benefit levy. Let us compare that to the Territory. No licence tax, a casino tax set at, not 35% or the national average of around 20%, nor at the lower end of the scale at 15%, but at 8% - and that is not all. Not only do they pay no licence tax or community benefit levy but gamblers elsewhere, whether at Tracy Village, Nhulunbuy or Tennant Creek, will have to pay the casinos for the privilege of having poker machines in their clubs. Average Territorians have not been able to find the way to the Treasurers heart. He has been able to block out completely their cries over these increases which hit average Territorians hardest. He simply does not listen to them! They can find no way to get their message across to the Treasurer, but I know who can. I know who knows the way to the Treasurers heart and who has the key. It is the casinos. That should be a source of embarrassment and grave concern for every Territorian. The budget presented last Thursday has provided for a public sector wage increase of less than 2%, despite the fact that the governments own inflationary expectations are for a minimum of 3.5%. On top of that, the government has imposed tax and charge increases of around $500 per year that will impact heavily on public servants. I hope that the Treasurer is aware that the police force is yet to complete its negotiations with the government in relation to an enterprise agreement. 3459