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Letter from Macdonald I to Patterson L



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Ms.

PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA · THE SENATE

SENATOR IAN MACDONALD LIBERAL SENATOR FOR Q U E E N S LA N D

SHADOW MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT & THE ACT 23rd October 1992

Aid. L. Patterson Mayor City of Campbelltown P.0. Box 57 Camobolltown N.S.W. 2560

FACSIMILE: (0461 201496

Dear Sir,

My attention has been drawn to a motion which I understand the Campbelltown City Council plans to move at next week's N.S.W. Local Government Association Conference, regarding the impact of the Coalition's Fightback package on Local Government.

It Is important that you understand that the supporting material for this motion is factually incorrect in many ways and also quite misleading.

In relation to section A. of the material, I draw your attention to the following errors.

. The GST will not burden any goods purchased by Councils because any GST paid by Councils will be refunded immediately and in full.

. The Coalition has made no announcement on whether Recycling Services. Car Parking Operations, Child Care Services, win be Included on the portion of the rate bill which is subject to the GST. (We will make these determinations once we have received reccomendations from the GST Planning and Coordination Office which is currently assessing these and other matters with the assistance of a submission from the Australian Local Government Association)

. Any GST charged by businesses for the hire of equipment by Councils will be refunded immediately and in full to Councils.

. The Coalition has already said that road construction and maintenance activities will be zero-rated for GST purposes (ie. GST will be charged at 0%).

In relation to section B., I draw your attention to the following.

Councils will make large savings from the abolition of Fuel Tax, and in many cases, Payroll Tax. These savings will more than cover any loss from the 5% reduction in Financial Assistance Grants.

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. In June I challenged the Local Government Minister to find me one Council which would not be cheaper to run under a Hewson Government as a result of the reduced tax on Councils which is proposed under Fightback! - he has not responded.

In relation to section D., I draw your attention to the following error:

. Arts based projects will not be included in the Coalition reductions in funding for the Australia Council.

In relation to section E„ I draw your attention to the following error:

. The Municipal Association of Victoria have concluded that th e administrative costs involved in Councils running GST, according to expert external advice, appears to be minimal." (Aust Municipal Journal, MAY 1992).

The following crucial point has been neglected:

. The rates which pay for all regulatory and non-commercial activities conducted by Councils will be zero-rated (le. Councils win have ail GST refunded on purchases, and ratepayers will pay no GST on rates levied for these activities)

I have taken the liberty of writing to you setting out the facts and the real position as there is a considerable amount of mis-information and deliberate distortion being pedalled about our policies by our political opponents for political reasons.

I know that your Council would not want to be drawn into a partisan political position on the basis of some fairly obvious propaganda which Is factually Incorrect.

Accordingly, I have written to appraise you of the truthful position about our policies from the authors, not from political interests determined to say anything no matter how untruthful to attempt to gain a vote.

Yours sincerely, .

\cu*j

Ian Macdonald Shadow Minister for Local Government & the A.C.T.

cc. N.S.W Local Government Association

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