I table a petition from the residents of Northern Australia. This petition has 4,146 signatures and has been found to be in order by the Standing Committee on Petitions.
The petition calls on the Australian government to amend the zone allowance to make zone A $10,000 taxable per year, with other zones adjusted accordingly, and that the zone allowance be indexed on an annual basis.
The petitioners also request that the House ensure that only those people who live in these zone areas are beneficiaries of this allowance.
I congratulate the Mount Isa City Council for their strong level of advocacy on this issue.
As the Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia, I have to say that zone tax allowances and special economic zones have come up consistently in submissions during the public hearings.
The zone offset has been around since 1981 but the failure to index it means that it is not fulfilling its purpose of enticing and retaining population growth in regional and remote areas.
In addition, fly-in fly-out workers in regional areas are able to receive this zone tax concession. FIFO workers play no active role in these local communities and, therefore, it is a valid argument that they should not be eligible.
I encourage further consideration of this matter.
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