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Local Government will have to await Tax Reform outcomes



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tOMiwwwwH cewrnMENr o* IRANSPOBF AND REGIONAL OEVELOPNtEMt

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Other Media Statements [Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government] [Minister for Transport and Regional Development]

[Michael Ronaldson, Parliamentary Secretary] [Departmental]

M e d i a

R e l e a s eTHE HON ALEX SC Minister for Regional Development, Territories and L S72/98 29 July 1998

LOCAL GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE TO AWAIT TAX REFORM OUTCOMES

The Federal Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Alex Somlyay said today the ALGA (Australian Local Government Association) is well aware the Government is in the process of developing a tax package and the ALGA is a welcome contributor to the debate.

He said the recent claims by the ALGA and its state organisations that they will mount a massive advertising campaign against tax reform is totally inconsistent with the terms of a letter written to my colleague the Treasurer on 24 June 1998. The Executive Director of the Local Government Association of Queensland, Mr Greg Hallam, wrote the letter.

The letter stated in part, "The Government is to be congratulated on its initiation o f the tax reform process. This process is an opportunity to remove the inconsistencies and distortions present in our current tax system."

"The effect of the contents of the tax package on local government will be announced when the full package is released.

"The view on tax issues of the ALGA on behalf of local government is well known to the Federal Government and has been considered in detail.

"I don’t believe that local government can realistically expect special notification in advance of the entire Australian community of the detail of the package.

"Any continuation of current speculation by the ALGA about the tax matter and its impact on local government is really a futile exercise. The expenditure of ratepayers funds on an anti tax reform campaign is indefensible.

"All interest groups should acknowledge that the process of tax reform is ongoing until the time arrives for the Government to announce the package to the Australian people. As is always the case with major policy announcements, the Government will not be in the business of ruling things in or out prior to the release of the tax reform package.

"I personally invited the Australian Local Government Association ( ALGA) to make submissions on tax reform to the Government’s Tax Reform Task Force and the Community Consultation Committee chaired by Senator Brian Gibson.

"The ALGA has a strong interest in the outcomes of tax reform. The KPMG study prepared for the ALGA represents part of the consultation process, which is wide and ongoing. The Federal Government is taking account of the outcome of these consultations," said Mr Somlyay.

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Further information: Graeme Hallet (Minister's Office)

http://www.dot.gov.au/media/somlyay/1998/s72_98.htm 16/10/1998

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http://www.dot.gov.au/media/somlyay/1998/s72_98.htm 16/10/1998