Tim Pallas MP

all fields required

SIGN UP

or continue to home page >
  • West Gate Tunnel Project

    The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide a second river crossing, 4 additional lanes on the West Gate Freeway and more reliable trips into the city. It will slash congestion and reduce travel times - getting you home sooner and safer. It will also create 5,600 new jobs and provide an $11 billion boost to our economy.

  • More Train Services for the Werribee Line

    The Andrews Labor Government will add 10 new Werribee line train services in the peak, every week – to get people in Melbourne’s west home safer and sooner. The 10 new Werribee peak services build on the 10 new peak services added in 2015, and this year’s budget funded eight new off-peak services which will start next year.

  • $1.8 Billion Western Roads Package to Transform Suburban Roads

    Local residents and commuters in Wyndham will benefit from a huge package of 8 key road upgrade, including work on the Duncans Road Interchange, and 750 lane-kilometres of maintenance works that will cut travel times, improve road safety and better connect communities in this key growth corridor.

  • Melbourne Metro Rail Project

    The Melbourne Metro Rail Project will deliver nine-kilometres worth of tunnel, five new underground railway stations and the rail the best city in the world deserves. This will revolutionise the way we use Melbourne's rail network.

  • Werribee Electorate

    Information about the local electorate of Werribee which takes in a diverse range of communities and locales.

  • West Gate Tunnel Project

    The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide a second river crossing, 4 additional lanes on the West Gate Freeway and more reliable trips into the city. It will slash congestion and reduce travel times - getting you home sooner and safer. It will also create 5,600 new jobs and provide an $11 billion boost to our economy.

Media Centre

MEMBERS STATEMENTS Wyndham Tech School

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (09:45:42) — I am delighted to inform the house that recently I joined the outstanding Minister for Education to turn the sod to commence construction of Wyndham Tech School on Victoria University’s Werribee campus. Wyndham Tech School will mean so much for students, teachers and families in Werribee and Wyndham. Students and principals, many of whom were on school holidays, came out on a winter’s morning to witness the start of this exciting new development. This will be one of 10 tech schools built under the Andrews government’s $128 million tech school initiative. It will give thousands of young people from 18 local government and private secondary schools access to a high‑tech learning environment and will also have linkages to local industries. For this government the Education State is more than just a slogan; it is about providing far‑reaching opportunities for a new generation of Victorians. Wyndham Tech School is testament to that, and I am proud that the Andrews Labor government is bringing such opportunity to the local students of Wyndham. And of course paired with today’s announcement that the state will be forgoing for‑profit payroll tax to ensure that apprentices and trainees get the right start and the right education and provide the community with the skills that we need, this is a demonstration of our commitment to young people.

MEMBERS STATEMENTS Wyndham Tech School

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (09:45:42) — I am delighted to inform the house that recently I joined the outstanding Minister for Education to turn the sod to commence construction of Wyndham Tech School on Victoria University’s Werribee campus. Wyndham Tech School will mean so much for students, teachers and families in Werribee and Wyndham. Students and principals, many of whom were on school holidays, came out on a winter’s morning to witness the start of this exciting new development. This will be one of 10 tech schools built under the Andrews government’s $128 million tech school initiative. It will give thousands of young people from 18 local government and private secondary schools access to a high‑tech learning environment and will also have linkages to local industries. For this government the Education State is more than just a slogan; it is about providing far‑reaching opportunities for a new generation of Victorians. Wyndham Tech School is testament to that, and I am proud that the Andrews Labor government is bringing such opportunity to the local students of Wyndham. And of course paired with today’s announcement that the state will be forgoing for‑profit payroll tax to ensure that apprentices and trainees get the right start and the right education and provide the community with the skills that we need, this is a demonstration of our commitment to young people.

Payroll Tax Relief To Grow Victoria’s Skilled Workforce

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting Victoria’s skilled workforce by lowering the cost of employing apprentices and trainees. The Payroll Tax Act 2007 introduced into Parliament this week will exempt Group Training Organisations (GTOs) that are run as for-profit organisations from paying payroll tax on apprentice and trainee wages. Currently, the exemption only applies to not-for-profit organisations, not GTOs. GTOs play a vital role employing Victorian apprentices and trainees. The changes will reduce costs and make it easier for them to employ apprentices. Victorian businesses have this year received significant tax relief across the board, with measures from the Labor Government aimed at boosting businesses, and creating and supporting jobs. Since July, Victoria’s regional businesses pay one of the lowest payroll tax rates in the nation. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “We’re making it easier for apprentices and trainees to get a start in their careers, to build the skilled workforce of the future and further boosting Victoria’s already strong economy.” “Group Training Organisations are critical to Victoria’s job creation, paving the way for apprentices and trainees to find the jobs they want.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “This is a significant boost for our training industry. We know apprentices are the backbone of our training system and the future of our workforce.” “It’s so important we continue to offer incentives to make it as easy as possible to employ apprentices and grow numbers to best deliver for jobs and our economy.” Quotes attributable to Rick Winkworth Impact Apprentices “This is a great initiative by the Labor Government and we’re so glad to have been part of the push that made it happen.” “This will make it easier and cheaper for training organisations like ours to employ apprentices, ultimately leading to a more skilled workforce.”

Payroll Tax Relief To Grow Victoria’s Skilled Workforce

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting Victoria’s skilled workforce by lowering the cost of employing apprentices and trainees. The Payroll Tax Act 2007 introduced into Parliament this week will exempt Group Training Organisations (GTOs) that are run as for-profit organisations from paying payroll tax on apprentice and trainee wages. Currently, the exemption only applies to not-for-profit organisations, not GTOs. GTOs play a vital role employing Victorian apprentices and trainees. The changes will reduce costs and make it easier for them to employ apprentices. Victorian businesses have this year received significant tax relief across the board, with measures from the Labor Government aimed at boosting businesses, and creating and supporting jobs. Since July, Victoria’s regional businesses pay one of the lowest payroll tax rates in the nation. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “We’re making it easier for apprentices and trainees to get a start in their careers, to build the skilled workforce of the future and further boosting Victoria’s already strong economy.” “Group Training Organisations are critical to Victoria’s job creation, paving the way for apprentices and trainees to find the jobs they want.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “This is a significant boost for our training industry. We know apprentices are the backbone of our training system and the future of our workforce.” “It’s so important we continue to offer incentives to make it as easy as possible to employ apprentices and grow numbers to best deliver for jobs and our economy.” Quotes attributable to Rick Winkworth Impact Apprentices “This is a great initiative by the Labor Government and we’re so glad to have been part of the push that made it happen.” “This will make it easier and cheaper for training organisations like ours to employ apprentices, ultimately leading to a more skilled workforce.”

Fairer And More Consistent Land Valuations For Victorians

The Andrews Labor Government is making land valuations fairer and more consistent. Under legislation introduced into Victorian Parliament today, valuations will be conducted annually by the Valuer-General instead of by local councils every second year as they are currently. By undertaking annual valuations, land and property values will be more accurate and up-to-date, ensuring taxpayers’ land tax bills will more accurately reflect the value of their landholdings. The Valuer-General is best placed to undertake annual land valuations as they are able to let out larger contracts for valuation services across municipal boundaries, and have the expertise to manage valuation standards. The changes follow extensive consultation with local councils and the MAV, and will make the valuation process more efficient and less costly. Overall, councils will have no extra costs as a result of the move to yearly valuations. Along with centralising the process, the Government will pay for the full costs of revaluations, with councils paying the full cost of the supplementary valuation component. It is estimated that councils will save $15 million every two years under the new arrangements. The change will also resolve the inconsistency of the current arrangement, in which some valuations are undertaken by in-house valuers, some by the Valuer-General, and some by contract valuers across municipal boundaries. The changes will begin in 2019, but Councils will have the opportunity to opt-out of the centralisation arrangement until 30 June 2022 to assist in the transition to the new arrangements. For those councils that do not opt out of the centralisation, the Labor Government will provide funding to help with the transition, including administration, IT and other costs. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “These changes make sense, and will make land valuations in Victoria fairer and more consistent.” “We said we’d consult on these reforms with the local government sector, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz “This measure will ease the burden on councils and ensure valuations are consistent across Victoria.” Quote attributable to Rob Spence CEO Municipal Association of Victoria “The Government has listened to the local government sector’s concerns. The reform is a sensible solution to a complex issue.”

Fairer And More Consistent Land Valuations For Victorians

The Andrews Labor Government is making land valuations fairer and more consistent. Under legislation introduced into Victorian Parliament today, valuations will be conducted annually by the Valuer-General instead of by local councils every second year as they are currently. By undertaking annual valuations, land and property values will be more accurate and up-to-date, ensuring taxpayers’ land tax bills will more accurately reflect the value of their landholdings. The Valuer-General is best placed to undertake annual land valuations as they are able to let out larger contracts for valuation services across municipal boundaries, and have the expertise to manage valuation standards. The changes follow extensive consultation with local councils and the MAV, and will make the valuation process more efficient and less costly. Overall, councils will have no extra costs as a result of the move to yearly valuations. Along with centralising the process, the Government will pay for the full costs of revaluations, with councils paying the full cost of the supplementary valuation component. It is estimated that councils will save $15 million every two years under the new arrangements. The change will also resolve the inconsistency of the current arrangement, in which some valuations are undertaken by in-house valuers, some by the Valuer-General, and some by contract valuers across municipal boundaries. The changes will begin in 2019, but Councils will have the opportunity to opt-out of the centralisation arrangement until 30 June 2022 to assist in the transition to the new arrangements. For those councils that do not opt out of the centralisation, the Labor Government will provide funding to help with the transition, including administration, IT and other costs. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “These changes make sense, and will make land valuations in Victoria fairer and more consistent.” “We said we’d consult on these reforms with the local government sector, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz “This measure will ease the burden on councils and ensure valuations are consistent across Victoria.” Quote attributable to Rob Spence CEO Municipal Association of Victoria “The Government has listened to the local government sector’s concerns. The reform is a sensible solution to a complex issue.”

MORE DRUG REHABILITATION BEDS ACROSS VICTORIA

The latest building approvals and international trade data shows Victoria’s dynamic economy continues to generate robust business activity across the state. New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released today shows Victoria experienced the largest growth in September among all mainland states for non‑residential building approvals – more than 35 per cent. That’s 7.0 per cent higher over the year. Overall, the total value of Victorian building approvals in September increased by 14.5 per cent to $3.49 billion. Over the year, the total value of Victorian building approvals is up 2.3 per cent, compared to a national decline of 9.5 per cent during the same period. Today’s strong building data coincides with the release of the latest international trade figures from the ABS, which shows Victoria’s exports of goods increased by more than 12 per cent over the year to $2.23 billion. In total, Victorian exports during the year were worth $25.5 billion. The strong building approvals and trade figures are consistent with a range of economic indicators that underline the strength of the Victorian economy, which has created more than 280,000 jobs since the Andrews Labor Government was elected. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “These figures show our dynamic economy continues to generate real jobs for Victorians, with more than 280,000 jobs created since the Andrews Labor Government was elected.” “Victoria’s surging international trade is a direct reflection of our global standing as a world-class producer of export goods.” “Today’s data means more job opportunities, as well as continued business growth and sustainability.”

MORE DRUG REHABILITATION BEDS ACROSS VICTORIA

The latest building approvals and international trade data shows Victoria’s dynamic economy continues to generate robust business activity across the state. New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released today shows Victoria experienced the largest growth in September among all mainland states for non‑residential building approvals – more than 35 per cent. That’s 7.0 per cent higher over the year. Overall, the total value of Victorian building approvals in September increased by 14.5 per cent to $3.49 billion. Over the year, the total value of Victorian building approvals is up 2.3 per cent, compared to a national decline of 9.5 per cent during the same period. Today’s strong building data coincides with the release of the latest international trade figures from the ABS, which shows Victoria’s exports of goods increased by more than 12 per cent over the year to $2.23 billion. In total, Victorian exports during the year were worth $25.5 billion. The strong building approvals and trade figures are consistent with a range of economic indicators that underline the strength of the Victorian economy, which has created more than 280,000 jobs since the Andrews Labor Government was elected. Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “These figures show our dynamic economy continues to generate real jobs for Victorians, with more than 280,000 jobs created since the Andrews Labor Government was elected.” “Victoria’s surging international trade is a direct reflection of our global standing as a world-class producer of export goods.” “Today’s data means more job opportunities, as well as continued business growth and sustainability.”

 

STATE TAXATION ACTS FURTHER AMENDMENT BILL 2017 Second reading

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) — I move: That this bill be now read a second time. Speech as follows incorporated into Hansard under standing orders: I am pleased to introduce this bill which amends Victoria’s taxation and valuation laws including the Congestion Levy Act 2005, Duties Act 2000, Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012, Land Tax Act 2005, Payroll Tax 2007, Taxation Administration Act 1997, Unclaimed Money Act 2008, Valuation of Land Act 1960 and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998. The amendments being made by this bill will support effective and sustainable tax administration by continuing to improve Victoria’s revenue and valuation laws. The bill clarifies the operation of a number of tax laws by correcting technical or drafting defects and removing anomalies, ensures that the State Revenue Office is positioned to meet the expectations of government and the community by maintaining best practice tax administration and provides for a cost effective valuation process in Victoria. The bill amends the Congestion Levy Act 2005 in order to clarify the operation of existing exemptions for parking spaces provided at the Melbourne Zoo and to shift workers. When the congestion levy area was expanded in 2014 to include a number of inner metropolitan suburbs, the expansion of the boundary encompassed the Melbourne zoological gardens in Royal Park. Whilst an exemption from the congestion levy was included for parking at the zoo, some of the zoo’s visitor car parking is located outside the currently defined exempt zone. Accordingly, these amendments will confirm that all zoo visitor and staff parking spaces are located inside the exempt zone. The exemption from the congestion levy for shift workers is intended to apply to parking spaces that are used only for the parking of motor vehicles by shift workers who do not work standard business hours. The amendments in this bill will better target this exemption towards workers who are genuine shift workers, reflecting the policy intent of the exemption and ensuring that it is not exploited. The amendments to the Duties Act 2000 correct possible anomalies in the operation of the foreign purchaser additional duty and the calculation of the first home buyer duty concession. The amendments clarify that the foreigner purchaser additional duty applies even where the principal place of residence duty concession is obtained. To ensure the legislation is consistent with administrative practice, this amendment will be taken to be effective from the commencement of the additional duty provisions on 1 July 2015. The amendment to the first home buyer duty concession clarifies the application of the calculation formula so that it reflects the concessional amount of duty payable. This bill makes amendments that will extend the current exemption provisions relating to the absentee owner surcharge in the Land Tax Act 2005 to landowners that are trustees of absentee trusts. Eligibility for the exemption will be subject to similar requirements that apply to absentee corporations, ensuring a level playing field between Australian‑based corporations and trusts that make a significant contribution to Victoria. Currently, a trustee of an absentee trust is required to pay the surcharge on the trust land based on the proportion of the absentee beneficiary’s interest in that trust. Determining the correct interest held by an absentee beneficiary can become challenging where there is a sub‑trust structure involved without the ability to trace the ultimate absentee beneficiary’s interest through to the head trust. By providing the State Revenue Office the ability to ‘look through’ the sub‑trust structure to identify the absentee beneficiary’s ultimate interest in the trust land will ensure that where land is owned under a sub‑trust structure, the head trust will only be liable for the surcharge on the proportion of the absentee beneficiary’s interest in the trust land. The Land Tax Act 2005 currently provides a number of exemptions for the benefit of charitable and non‑profit organisations. The bill makes necessary amendments that confirm the policy intent of these exemptions. Accordingly, the amendments limit the type of landowners who can benefit from the exemption so that it only applies to land owned by a charitable institution that is leased for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes. Similarly, in relation to sporting, recreational or cultural land owned by certain non‑profit organisations, the bill clarifies that the exemption from land tax is confined to land used exclusively for those purposes, but importantly also enables the exemption to be granted in respect of a part of the land if it is used exclusively for the exempt activities. Integrity measures are also being inserted for the land tax exemption that applies to land that is owned by a charitable institution and declared to be held for future use for charitable purposes. These include imposing a time limit of two years on the commencement of the proposed future charitable use of land, while allowing this period to be extended by the commissioner under appropriate circumstances; requiring the proposed future use of the land to be exclusively for charitable purposes; and ensuring that land tax is assessable on the part of the land that is not being used for charitable purposes. Notably, this amendment is not intended to restrict the land tax exemption from applying to charitable bodies that have genuine intentions to use the land for a charitable purpose. For example, non‑government schools that have acquired land for future educational purposes. The Victorian government is committed to creating jobs and supporting the employment of new apprentices and trainees. The Payroll Tax Act 2007 currently exempts wages paid to a new entrant by an organisation declared to be an approved group training organisation (GTO). The new entrant must be employed by the GTO in accordance with the requirements of an approved training scheme. This bill makes amendments that will extend the types of organisations that can be declared to be an approved GTO to include ‘for‑profit’ organisations who employ new entrant apprentices under an approved training scheme. This measure will reduce the payroll tax liability of for‑profit GTOs that engage in the recruitment and on‑hiring of apprentices and trainees, thereby encouraging the take‑up and placement of apprentices and trainees. Earlier this year, the Victorian government sought to make important changes to the valuation system in Victoria that would improve the efficiency, robustness and cost effectiveness of valuations used by rating authorities. The proposed changes included centralising Victoria’s valuation function with the Valuer‑General Victoria and providing for valuations to be undertaken annually. General valuations are currently conducted biennially by local councils or the valuer‑general and establish the value of properties as at 1 January every second year. Supplementary valuations are also completed during each cycle to account for new properties and changes in the use of existing properties. These valuations are used for the purposes of assessing council rates, land tax and the fire services property levy. Undertaking annual valuations will have the added benefit of smoothing out the existing biennial increases in land tax for landowners. During debate on these changes, the Victorian government agreed to consult further with the local government sector to ensure that the benefits of these amendments were better understood and then to bring the necessary changes back to Parliament for consideration. As a result of the consultation process, which also included the Municipal Association of Victoria, the Victorian government is now bringing these measures back to Parliament. Notably, the amendments will now provide local councils with the ability to opt out of the proposed centralised system by nominating themselves as the relevant valuation authority for their municipal district, thereby allowing them to continue undertaking valuations. The ability to opt out will be subject to the valuer‑general’s agreement and will be available until 2022. This will provide local councils with sufficient time to make the necessary preparations to transition to the new centralised valuation system. Councils that choose to opt out will still be required to undertake annual valuations. In addition, following consultation with the local government sector, the Victorian government has agreed to pay the full cost of all general valuations returned each year under the new centralised system, whilst councils pay for the full cost of all supplementary valuations each year. Councils that choose to opt out of the new centralised valuation system will continue on current payment arrangements and contribute half of the cost of existing biennial valuations. These amendments strike the right balance between the advantages that a centralised valuation system will bring and the concerns from local councils. Some councils have raised a particular concern around supplementary valuation turnaround times and the impact this has on their revenue. The government acknowledges these concerns, and the model we will work towards will give them greater control over supplementary valuations, and does not propose to change the process for initiating them. The valuer‑general’s Valuation Best Practice — Specification Guidelines provide a framework of processes, tasks and outputs required for the return of general and supplementary valuations. Under the terms of standard contractual arrangements, the valuer‑general undertakes to complete supplementary valuations on a monthly basis within a four‑week time period. The government notes that, if a quicker turnaround is required, this can be negotiated as part of service level agreements. As part of a general move towards a fully digital environment, the State Revenue Office is looking to provide taxpayers with alternative digital channels to manage their tax affairs. The amendments in this bill to the Taxation Administration Act 1997 will enable the State Revenue Office to serve an assessment or other documents by notifying the taxpayer electronically (i.e. by SMS or email) of an assessment or document available for retrieval by the taxpayer via a secure internet site maintained by the State Revenue Office. Other amendments to the Taxation Administration Act 1997, Unclaimed Money Act 2008 and Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012 will ensure consistency with administrative and postal changes in the servicing of documents and payments, repeal a redundant provision previously enacted to deliver an online duty ‘look up’ service that is no longer required and update references to certain state and federal departments and agencies. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 governs the conduct of proceedings referred to the tribunal under taxation and revenue laws administered by the State Revenue Office. The bill amends the definition of ‘taxing act’ in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 to include all the laws administered by the State Revenue Office that currently provide for referrals to/reviews by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and allow for the inclusion of new taxation laws in the future. The passage of this bill will ensure that Victoria maintains best practice tax administration, confirms the intention behind various taxation laws and will introduce a robust and cost‑effective valuation process in Victoria. I commend the bill to the house.

STATE TAXATION ACTS FURTHER AMENDMENT BILL 2017 Second reading

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) — I move: That this bill be now read a second time. Speech as follows incorporated into Hansard under standing orders: I am pleased to introduce this bill which amends Victoria’s taxation and valuation laws including the Congestion Levy Act 2005, Duties Act 2000, Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012, Land Tax Act 2005, Payroll Tax 2007, Taxation Administration Act 1997, Unclaimed Money Act 2008, Valuation of Land Act 1960 and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998. The amendments being made by this bill will support effective and sustainable tax administration by continuing to improve Victoria’s revenue and valuation laws. The bill clarifies the operation of a number of tax laws by correcting technical or drafting defects and removing anomalies, ensures that the State Revenue Office is positioned to meet the expectations of government and the community by maintaining best practice tax administration and provides for a cost effective valuation process in Victoria. The bill amends the Congestion Levy Act 2005 in order to clarify the operation of existing exemptions for parking spaces provided at the Melbourne Zoo and to shift workers. When the congestion levy area was expanded in 2014 to include a number of inner metropolitan suburbs, the expansion of the boundary encompassed the Melbourne zoological gardens in Royal Park. Whilst an exemption from the congestion levy was included for parking at the zoo, some of the zoo’s visitor car parking is located outside the currently defined exempt zone. Accordingly, these amendments will confirm that all zoo visitor and staff parking spaces are located inside the exempt zone. The exemption from the congestion levy for shift workers is intended to apply to parking spaces that are used only for the parking of motor vehicles by shift workers who do not work standard business hours. The amendments in this bill will better target this exemption towards workers who are genuine shift workers, reflecting the policy intent of the exemption and ensuring that it is not exploited. The amendments to the Duties Act 2000 correct possible anomalies in the operation of the foreign purchaser additional duty and the calculation of the first home buyer duty concession. The amendments clarify that the foreigner purchaser additional duty applies even where the principal place of residence duty concession is obtained. To ensure the legislation is consistent with administrative practice, this amendment will be taken to be effective from the commencement of the additional duty provisions on 1 July 2015. The amendment to the first home buyer duty concession clarifies the application of the calculation formula so that it reflects the concessional amount of duty payable. This bill makes amendments that will extend the current exemption provisions relating to the absentee owner surcharge in the Land Tax Act 2005 to landowners that are trustees of absentee trusts. Eligibility for the exemption will be subject to similar requirements that apply to absentee corporations, ensuring a level playing field between Australian‑based corporations and trusts that make a significant contribution to Victoria. Currently, a trustee of an absentee trust is required to pay the surcharge on the trust land based on the proportion of the absentee beneficiary’s interest in that trust. Determining the correct interest held by an absentee beneficiary can become challenging where there is a sub‑trust structure involved without the ability to trace the ultimate absentee beneficiary’s interest through to the head trust. By providing the State Revenue Office the ability to ‘look through’ the sub‑trust structure to identify the absentee beneficiary’s ultimate interest in the trust land will ensure that where land is owned under a sub‑trust structure, the head trust will only be liable for the surcharge on the proportion of the absentee beneficiary’s interest in the trust land. The Land Tax Act 2005 currently provides a number of exemptions for the benefit of charitable and non‑profit organisations. The bill makes necessary amendments that confirm the policy intent of these exemptions. Accordingly, the amendments limit the type of landowners who can benefit from the exemption so that it only applies to land owned by a charitable institution that is leased for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes. Similarly, in relation to sporting, recreational or cultural land owned by certain non‑profit organisations, the bill clarifies that the exemption from land tax is confined to land used exclusively for those purposes, but importantly also enables the exemption to be granted in respect of a part of the land if it is used exclusively for the exempt activities. Integrity measures are also being inserted for the land tax exemption that applies to land that is owned by a charitable institution and declared to be held for future use for charitable purposes. These include imposing a time limit of two years on the commencement of the proposed future charitable use of land, while allowing this period to be extended by the commissioner under appropriate circumstances; requiring the proposed future use of the land to be exclusively for charitable purposes; and ensuring that land tax is assessable on the part of the land that is not being used for charitable purposes. Notably, this amendment is not intended to restrict the land tax exemption from applying to charitable bodies that have genuine intentions to use the land for a charitable purpose. For example, non‑government schools that have acquired land for future educational purposes. The Victorian government is committed to creating jobs and supporting the employment of new apprentices and trainees. The Payroll Tax Act 2007 currently exempts wages paid to a new entrant by an organisation declared to be an approved group training organisation (GTO). The new entrant must be employed by the GTO in accordance with the requirements of an approved training scheme. This bill makes amendments that will extend the types of organisations that can be declared to be an approved GTO to include ‘for‑profit’ organisations who employ new entrant apprentices under an approved training scheme. This measure will reduce the payroll tax liability of for‑profit GTOs that engage in the recruitment and on‑hiring of apprentices and trainees, thereby encouraging the take‑up and placement of apprentices and trainees. Earlier this year, the Victorian government sought to make important changes to the valuation system in Victoria that would improve the efficiency, robustness and cost effectiveness of valuations used by rating authorities. The proposed changes included centralising Victoria’s valuation function with the Valuer‑General Victoria and providing for valuations to be undertaken annually. General valuations are currently conducted biennially by local councils or the valuer‑general and establish the value of properties as at 1 January every second year. Supplementary valuations are also completed during each cycle to account for new properties and changes in the use of existing properties. These valuations are used for the purposes of assessing council rates, land tax and the fire services property levy. Undertaking annual valuations will have the added benefit of smoothing out the existing biennial increases in land tax for landowners. During debate on these changes, the Victorian government agreed to consult further with the local government sector to ensure that the benefits of these amendments were better understood and then to bring the necessary changes back to Parliament for consideration. As a result of the consultation process, which also included the Municipal Association of Victoria, the Victorian government is now bringing these measures back to Parliament. Notably, the amendments will now provide local councils with the ability to opt out of the proposed centralised system by nominating themselves as the relevant valuation authority for their municipal district, thereby allowing them to continue undertaking valuations. The ability to opt out will be subject to the valuer‑general’s agreement and will be available until 2022. This will provide local councils with sufficient time to make the necessary preparations to transition to the new centralised valuation system. Councils that choose to opt out will still be required to undertake annual valuations. In addition, following consultation with the local government sector, the Victorian government has agreed to pay the full cost of all general valuations returned each year under the new centralised system, whilst councils pay for the full cost of all supplementary valuations each year. Councils that choose to opt out of the new centralised valuation system will continue on current payment arrangements and contribute half of the cost of existing biennial valuations. These amendments strike the right balance between the advantages that a centralised valuation system will bring and the concerns from local councils. Some councils have raised a particular concern around supplementary valuation turnaround times and the impact this has on their revenue. The government acknowledges these concerns, and the model we will work towards will give them greater control over supplementary valuations, and does not propose to change the process for initiating them. The valuer‑general’s Valuation Best Practice — Specification Guidelines provide a framework of processes, tasks and outputs required for the return of general and supplementary valuations. Under the terms of standard contractual arrangements, the valuer‑general undertakes to complete supplementary valuations on a monthly basis within a four‑week time period. The government notes that, if a quicker turnaround is required, this can be negotiated as part of service level agreements. As part of a general move towards a fully digital environment, the State Revenue Office is looking to provide taxpayers with alternative digital channels to manage their tax affairs. The amendments in this bill to the Taxation Administration Act 1997 will enable the State Revenue Office to serve an assessment or other documents by notifying the taxpayer electronically (i.e. by SMS or email) of an assessment or document available for retrieval by the taxpayer via a secure internet site maintained by the State Revenue Office. Other amendments to the Taxation Administration Act 1997, Unclaimed Money Act 2008 and Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012 will ensure consistency with administrative and postal changes in the servicing of documents and payments, repeal a redundant provision previously enacted to deliver an online duty ‘look up’ service that is no longer required and update references to certain state and federal departments and agencies. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 governs the conduct of proceedings referred to the tribunal under taxation and revenue laws administered by the State Revenue Office. The bill amends the definition of ‘taxing act’ in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 to include all the laws administered by the State Revenue Office that currently provide for referrals to/reviews by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and allow for the inclusion of new taxation laws in the future. The passage of this bill will ensure that Victoria maintains best practice tax administration, confirms the intention behind various taxation laws and will introduce a robust and cost‑effective valuation process in Victoria. I commend the bill to the house.

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE AND MINISTERS STATEMENTS Ministers statements: economy

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:21:55) — I rise to update the house about the ongoing strength of the Victorian economy, which of course has created over 280 000 jobs since we took office, more than 170 000 of those full‑time — and they said it could not be done. Those opposite of course would put all of that at risk. The Leader of the Opposition has already quietly announced plans for a cost audit within the first 100 days of government, and we all know what that means. Mr Guy — On a point of order, Speaker, relating to relevance, you might want to see that the Treasurer and indeed the education minister’s comments relating to a cost audit were in relation to prisons. I seek leave to table the story just to ensure that the Treasurer and the Deputy Premier no longer mislead this house. Ms Allan — On the point of order, Speaker, I think the Leader of the Opposition protesteth just a little bit too much. I think it is entirely relevant for the Treasurer to consider the management of the state budget and policy options that might be considered in setting the state budget, and I would ask that you allow him to continue to answer the question. Honourable members interjecting. The SPEAKER — Order! Without the assistance of the member for Gembrook! There is no ability for members to seek leave to table a document. They can make a document available to the house by handing it to the Acting Clerk. Mr Clark — On a further point of order, Speaker, you were asked to rule on the question of relevance and to bring the Treasurer back to making a ministers statement in conformance with sessional orders relevant to his portfolio, not misrepresent a newspaper report relating to prisons. You have not yet ruled on that point of order. The SPEAKER — Sorry, I missed it because of the shouting. I did not hear the point being made about relevance; I heard the part about seeking leave to table a document. I do ask the Treasurer to come back to making a ministers statement. Mr PALLAS — All I said was ‘Thank you’, Speaker. They took exception to it. Right now of course business conditions are the highest in the nation — here in Victoria — and guess who did it? This government. Why? Because we are investing in the things that business regard and pay respect to — things that support business, like doubling the infrastructure spend in less than three years and creating jobs. And of course we are the ones that are going out there reducing payroll tax liability for 38 000 businesses right across this state. Those opposite, though, are about indiscriminate acts of cuts to the public sector — to hospitals and to services. When they say they do not do it, if their lips are moving they are lying. Honourable members interjecting. The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Gembrook! I warn the member for Kew and the member for Gembrook to cease interjecting across the chamber. Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, the Treasurer is proceeding to debate the issue in his last few words, indeed throwing abuse at members across the chamber. I ask you to bring him back to making a ministers statement. The SPEAKER — The Treasurer did stray from making a ministers statement, and I ask him to come back to making a ministers statement. Mr PALLAS — The greatest abuse you can do to the people of Victoria is to turn your back on them when they need leadership, so as a comparison, 170 000 full‑time jobs were created. That is more than 10 times what those opposite managed in their four limp and dysfunctional years. We have also created 10 times the amount of jobs that those opposite created in regional Victoria. As we deliver payroll tax cuts for business and as we cut stamp duty for first home buyers, those opposite only know how to manage their ultimate political infidelity, promising that this time they will be different. But they will never change. It is their dirty little secret.

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE AND MINISTERS STATEMENTS Ministers statements: economy

Mr PALLAS (Treasurer) (11:21:55) — I rise to update the house about the ongoing strength of the Victorian economy, which of course has created over 280 000 jobs since we took office, more than 170 000 of those full‑time — and they said it could not be done. Those opposite of course would put all of that at risk. The Leader of the Opposition has already quietly announced plans for a cost audit within the first 100 days of government, and we all know what that means. Mr Guy — On a point of order, Speaker, relating to relevance, you might want to see that the Treasurer and indeed the education minister’s comments relating to a cost audit were in relation to prisons. I seek leave to table the story just to ensure that the Treasurer and the Deputy Premier no longer mislead this house. Ms Allan — On the point of order, Speaker, I think the Leader of the Opposition protesteth just a little bit too much. I think it is entirely relevant for the Treasurer to consider the management of the state budget and policy options that might be considered in setting the state budget, and I would ask that you allow him to continue to answer the question. Honourable members interjecting. The SPEAKER — Order! Without the assistance of the member for Gembrook! There is no ability for members to seek leave to table a document. They can make a document available to the house by handing it to the Acting Clerk. Mr Clark — On a further point of order, Speaker, you were asked to rule on the question of relevance and to bring the Treasurer back to making a ministers statement in conformance with sessional orders relevant to his portfolio, not misrepresent a newspaper report relating to prisons. You have not yet ruled on that point of order. The SPEAKER — Sorry, I missed it because of the shouting. I did not hear the point being made about relevance; I heard the part about seeking leave to table a document. I do ask the Treasurer to come back to making a ministers statement. Mr PALLAS — All I said was ‘Thank you’, Speaker. They took exception to it. Right now of course business conditions are the highest in the nation — here in Victoria — and guess who did it? This government. Why? Because we are investing in the things that business regard and pay respect to — things that support business, like doubling the infrastructure spend in less than three years and creating jobs. And of course we are the ones that are going out there reducing payroll tax liability for 38 000 businesses right across this state. Those opposite, though, are about indiscriminate acts of cuts to the public sector — to hospitals and to services. When they say they do not do it, if their lips are moving they are lying. Honourable members interjecting. The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Gembrook! I warn the member for Kew and the member for Gembrook to cease interjecting across the chamber. Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, the Treasurer is proceeding to debate the issue in his last few words, indeed throwing abuse at members across the chamber. I ask you to bring him back to making a ministers statement. The SPEAKER — The Treasurer did stray from making a ministers statement, and I ask him to come back to making a ministers statement. Mr PALLAS — The greatest abuse you can do to the people of Victoria is to turn your back on them when they need leadership, so as a comparison, 170 000 full‑time jobs were created. That is more than 10 times what those opposite managed in their four limp and dysfunctional years. We have also created 10 times the amount of jobs that those opposite created in regional Victoria. As we deliver payroll tax cuts for business and as we cut stamp duty for first home buyers, those opposite only know how to manage their ultimate political infidelity, promising that this time they will be different. But they will never change. It is their dirty little secret.

Victorian Gas Research In Full Flight

The Andrews Labor Government is taking the search for future offshore gas resources to new heights by using hi-tech aircraft for aerial gravity surveying. Minister for Resources Tim Pallas announced the initiative today during an opening address to the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne. The surveying is part of the $42.5 million Victorian Gas Program, which will produce a clear picture of the state’s prospective onshore and offshore gas resources, as well as options for underground gas storage. From next year, airborne gravity data will be collected using a specially-equipped aircraft that will fly as low as 80 metres above the sea surface, allowing the aircraft to collect the highest quality data. The data will then be used by geologists to detect rock structures deep inside the earth, while a gravity meter will help detect changes in gravity and rock density. This aerial work will provide new geoscientific data to identify areas off the Victorian coast that are prospective for offshore gas. The Minister also announced plans to further strengthen offshore gas exploration – specifically in the Otway geological basin – by advancing plans to release offshore areas for commercial exploration next year. This will include a survey of 18,000 square kilometres in the Otway Basin, an expanse the equivalent of ten times that of Port Phillip Bay. This includes land that will be released as new acreage. Discussions with industry are imminent and the release will help promote more commercial gas exploration and development before the end of next year. Meanwhile, the Turnbull Government continues to ignore repeated requests to partner with the Victorian Gas Program. It has also failed to act on its report into the Offshore South East Australia Future Gas Supply Study which was due for public release in August. Victoria calls on the Commonwealth to show leadership and partner with the state in an expanded offshore geoscience program. Quotes attributable to the Minister for Resources Tim Pallas “The Victorian Gas Program is using the very best technology and research methods to get the clearest possible picture of the state’s gas resources.” “Instead of attacking Victoria and threatening GST cuts – the Turnbull Government should partner with us on this important work.” “While the Commonwealth dithers, we’re not wasting a minute getting the answers we need on gas.”

Victorian Gas Research In Full Flight

The Andrews Labor Government is taking the search for future offshore gas resources to new heights by using hi-tech aircraft for aerial gravity surveying. Minister for Resources Tim Pallas announced the initiative today during an opening address to the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne. The surveying is part of the $42.5 million Victorian Gas Program, which will produce a clear picture of the state’s prospective onshore and offshore gas resources, as well as options for underground gas storage. From next year, airborne gravity data will be collected using a specially-equipped aircraft that will fly as low as 80 metres above the sea surface, allowing the aircraft to collect the highest quality data. The data will then be used by geologists to detect rock structures deep inside the earth, while a gravity meter will help detect changes in gravity and rock density. This aerial work will provide new geoscientific data to identify areas off the Victorian coast that are prospective for offshore gas. The Minister also announced plans to further strengthen offshore gas exploration – specifically in the Otway geological basin – by advancing plans to release offshore areas for commercial exploration next year. This will include a survey of 18,000 square kilometres in the Otway Basin, an expanse the equivalent of ten times that of Port Phillip Bay. This includes land that will be released as new acreage. Discussions with industry are imminent and the release will help promote more commercial gas exploration and development before the end of next year. Meanwhile, the Turnbull Government continues to ignore repeated requests to partner with the Victorian Gas Program. It has also failed to act on its report into the Offshore South East Australia Future Gas Supply Study which was due for public release in August. Victoria calls on the Commonwealth to show leadership and partner with the state in an expanded offshore geoscience program. Quotes attributable to the Minister for Resources Tim Pallas “The Victorian Gas Program is using the very best technology and research methods to get the clearest possible picture of the state’s gas resources.” “Instead of attacking Victoria and threatening GST cuts – the Turnbull Government should partner with us on this important work.” “While the Commonwealth dithers, we’re not wasting a minute getting the answers we need on gas.”

MORE DRUG REHABILITATION BEDS ACROSS VICTORIA

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering an extra 100 residential rehabilitation beds over the next six months to deal with the devastating impacts of drug and alcohol addiction on local communities. The first 12 beds of this significant expansion are operational in the coming weeks with all beds to be established by March 2018. The Labor Government has provided funding to more than double the number of residential beds in Victoria since 2014. This includes new residential rehabilitation facilities currently being established in key regional areas to stop the devastating effect of ice and other drugs. The Government will provide an additional $53 million to deliver the major expansion in treatment, helping over 400 people every year create lasting change in their lives. 7 beds will be opened at the Wyndham Clinic in Werribee to provide direct support to people in the Wyndham region and surrounding areas. These beds will be open by March 2018. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas said that as well as providing urgent drug treatment support for people in local communities, the additional beds will help meet demand and relieve pressures on alcohol and drug treatment services. As part of the Government’s Drug Rehabilitation Plan the government will invest a further $15 million to: Trial a new 28 day rapid withdrawal and rehabilitation model to stabilise an extra 100 complex clients a year and reduce hospital admissions Establish a new advisory and brokerage service to help people needing to urgently locate a suitable drug and alcohol rehabilitation beds Cracking down on dodgy private rehabilitation providers. These investments are part of the Government’s Ice Action Plan and its record investment to tackle the harm alcohol and drug addiction causes to local communities. Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley “We’re doubling the number of rehab beds in Victoria – delivering help to more than 400 additional people every year.” “We know the damage addiction causes to local communities – this investment will help more Victorians get the support they need in their community faster.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This expansion means more people in the Werribee electorate can get access to the treatment they need faster – helping to bring lasting change to their lives.”

MORE DRUG REHABILITATION BEDS ACROSS VICTORIA

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering an extra 100 residential rehabilitation beds over the next six months to deal with the devastating impacts of drug and alcohol addiction on local communities. The first 12 beds of this significant expansion are operational in the coming weeks with all beds to be established by March 2018. The Labor Government has provided funding to more than double the number of residential beds in Victoria since 2014. This includes new residential rehabilitation facilities currently being established in key regional areas to stop the devastating effect of ice and other drugs. The Government will provide an additional $53 million to deliver the major expansion in treatment, helping over 400 people every year create lasting change in their lives. 7 beds will be opened at the Wyndham Clinic in Werribee to provide direct support to people in the Wyndham region and surrounding areas. These beds will be open by March 2018. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas said that as well as providing urgent drug treatment support for people in local communities, the additional beds will help meet demand and relieve pressures on alcohol and drug treatment services. As part of the Government’s Drug Rehabilitation Plan the government will invest a further $15 million to: Trial a new 28 day rapid withdrawal and rehabilitation model to stabilise an extra 100 complex clients a year and reduce hospital admissions Establish a new advisory and brokerage service to help people needing to urgently locate a suitable drug and alcohol rehabilitation beds Cracking down on dodgy private rehabilitation providers. These investments are part of the Government’s Ice Action Plan and its record investment to tackle the harm alcohol and drug addiction causes to local communities. Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley “We’re doubling the number of rehab beds in Victoria – delivering help to more than 400 additional people every year.” “We know the damage addiction causes to local communities – this investment will help more Victorians get the support they need in their community faster.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This expansion means more people in the Werribee electorate can get access to the treatment they need faster – helping to bring lasting change to their lives.”