Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1253..
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, and Minister for the Arts) (5.24): The government will be opposing clause 9, which seeks to apply duty on new motor vehicle registrations on the list price. The government has further discussed this proposal with the Motor Trades Association of the ACT. It has taken into account the views of the industry on this matter and has determined that it does warrant further consideration. The industry has highlighted issues that could negatively impact on motor vehicle dealers if the clause were to remain. We believe at this stage that it is appropriate to remove this clause at this time.
The way in which duty is calculated on new motor vehicles will therefore remain unchanged. It will continue to be calculated according to the market price of the vehicle at the time of purchase or the consideration paid for the vehicle, whichever is higher. I have asked officials to look further at this matter but at this stage the government's intention is that the status quo be retained.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (5.25): The opposition support the government's amendment to delete this clause, which proposed to base sales tax on motor vehicles on the list or asking price. As we pointed out in the debate on this bill last December, the idea has never made sense, and we expressed surprise that it slipped around the scrutiny of cabinet. The government's decision to omit the clause effectively achieves what the opposition were aiming for, so naturally we will support it. Therefore, I will not have to move the amendments that have been circulated in my name—the first one anyway. It is good to see that commonsense has one won the day and I commend the government for that.
However, it is interesting that the Chief Minister says that, following the concerns we raised, consultation was undertaken with the Motor Trades Association. This is just another example of the government not consulting before the game; they are dragged kicking and screaming to consultation, which obviously should have been done before the bill even got to this place.
We have a litany of failed revenue activities from this government. They have not done the work and they have had to back down. I will just read a few of them out for the edification of members. With the rating policy, the government proposed a complete change to the way in which general rates were determined in the ACT. The proposed policy, for which little analysis had been done—it just simply sounded like a good idea at the time—was defeated in the Assembly.
We had the bushfire tax. The government proposed to impose a fixed levy on all rateable properties for two years, raising $10 million over the two years—a knee-jerk proposal that was abandoned as unnecessary. We had the infamous loan security duty. This policy would have imposed a duty on secured loans with a value of more than $30. It only raised half a million dollars, and this proposal was abandoned after the government realised, belatedly, that all the other states were abandoning this duty.
We had the parking space tax fiasco. This measure proposed raising in the 2003-04 budget something like $2.5 million, but the policy was very poorly developed, the government had failed to undertake any consultation, and again the government was