Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 4033..
Aged care accommodation
MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer, but the planning minister may decide to answer it. The Treasurer would be aware that the Chief Minister has recently announced approval of a major number of aged care and supportive housing developments. Does the Treasurer believe that such developments should attract the standard change of use charge? Is the Treasurer aware that the change of use charge will render the Chief Minister's aged care policy null and void?
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, as I am responsible for the administration of the change of use charge, I will take the question. I thank Mrs Cross for the question. The change of use charge is levied on aged care facilities only where they are converting from an existing use to a new use. In relation to the range of measures the government has announced in the most recent round of land grant allocations, direct grants of land do not attract a change of use charge.
MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, are you aware that the Australian Valuation Office is insisting that supportive housing complexes and retirement villages are subject to the maximum rate of change of use charge?
MR CORBELL: Again I thank Mrs Cross for the question. The Australian Valuation Office undertakes valuations according to agreed valuation principles. How a valuer values something is not a matter that the government can influence. However, with all due respect to Mrs Cross, I think the second part of her question is a little bit off the point, simply because the rate at which the change of use charge is applied is not a matter for the valuer, it is a matter for ACTPLA and the government as to the percentage of change of use charge levied.
MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Environment. Minister, in the Canberra Times of 18 August 2004, Dr Roger Good, a lecturer in fire science and management from the University of NSW and who is said to be "one of Australia's leading experts in fire management", was quoted as saying:
"Don't get me started on what's happening with pine plantations after the fires in the ACT-I get really angry ... I have the horrors when I see what they're doing."
"The claim that they are planting pines to stop soil erosion is a furphy-
I had often thought that too-
... By the time the trees grow to the point where they will be of any use ... most of the catchment will be washed away."
The article went on to say:
He described the pine plantations as "a huge standing crop of fuel ... a ready supply of high-hazard fuel ... a short-term solution to the problem of fire management.