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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3709..


Members interjecting-

MR SPEAKER: Order members!

Economic white paper

MRS CROSS: My question is to the Treasurer and acting planning minister, Mr Quinlan. Treasurer, did your economic white paper address the negative effect that the ACT government's change of use charge, or betterment tax, had on major redevelopments in the nation's capital? What figures has the Treasury provided showing the loss of revenue due to the lack of stamp duties on sales and ongoing rates and employment?

MR QUINLAN: In terms of background, I will have to take that on notice. Off the top of my head, I would have to say that they would be purely speculative figures. There would be no way of objectively measuring any loss-if there was any-remembering that all the change of use charge does is levy the actual real value of property, so that an absence of change of use charge would be a subsidy. There is no way we could objectively measure it, but I will see if anybody has had a crack at it.

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, will the government look at the introduction of an infrastructure tax to replace the cumbersome and outdated change of use charge?

MR QUINLAN: It is your opinion that the charge is cumbersome and outdated. I know that a number people do not like it, but they are people who are paying the real value of a property they wish to exploit. I do not see anything unjust in that, and I do not think that there is anything outdated in that proposition at all. However, we are always open. The next time we discuss infrastructure charge will not be the first time.

Olympic Games-local participation

MR HARGREAVES: I notice that the Chief Minister is a little bleary eyed at the moment. Is this because, since the games of the XXVIII Olympiad got under way in Athens over the weekend, he has stayed up until the wee hours, eyes glued to the television, monitoring the progress of local athletes against the best in the world? If that is the case, will he give the Assembly an indication of how our locals have performed and what we might expect in the days and nights to come?

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order. I would like to know to which of Mr Stanhope's responsibilities the question is directed?

MR HARGREAVES: On the point of order. Mr Stanhope's capacity is as minister in charge of everything to do with the ACT.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The Chief Minister is entitled to answer that question.

MR STANHOPE: I have to say at the outset how incredibly mean spirited it is of members of the opposition and just how typical it is that they are not interested in


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