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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1391..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Mr Speaker, this bill will deliver on the government's promise in relation to rating for its first term of government. It adjusts the rating assessment for all properties for 2002-2003 by increasing rates charges applying in 2001-2002 by the actual movement in the CPI in the ACT from the December quarter 2000 to the December quarter 2001. The relevant CPI movement is 2.9 per cent, as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on 23 January 2002. So, for example, if a property had a rates liability of $1,000 in 2001-2002 then the same property would have a rates liability of $1,029 in the next financial year.

In conjunction with capping rates increases at 2.9 per cent, this bill also ensures that the valuations for the year beginning 1 July 2002 will not be used for the purpose of rates assessment for 2002-2003. This will ensure that rates assessments for existing properties and properties with lease commencement dates during 2002-2003 will be calculated through the use of average unimproved valuations for the year beginning 1 July 2001.

Mr Speaker, the bill also will replace UV, unimproved value, with AUV, average unimproved value, to correct errors in certain formulas within the act.

Rates revenue is estimated at $110,786,000 for 2001-2002. In applying the capped increases, the rates revenue for 2002-2003 is budgeted at $113,998,794, an increase of 2.9 per cent. Municipal rates charges have been included in the federal Treasurer's division 81 determination and are exempt from the goods and services tax.

Mr Speaker, I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Building Amendment Bill 2002

Mr Corbell , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.56): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased today to present the Building Amendment Bill 2002. The bill responds to a potential crisis in the ACT building industry caused by the withdrawal of the insurance broker, Dexta, from the market for residential building work insurance. This insurance broker supported the MBA's builders warranty scheme. The impacts of a failure by government to act in relation to this issue are clear and they include the loss of jobs, significant impact on the ACT economy and upheaval for consumers trying to move into their new homes.

The ACT Building Act requires builders to have insurance before they can begin work. This insurance protects consumers if the builder goes bankrupt, dies, or for some other reason fails to complete construction and cannot be found. Once construction is complete, homebuyers receive a further five year warranty against construction faults.

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