Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3098..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
This bill provides some small, but important, changes to the Gaming Machine Act in order to enhance and clarify its operation. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth ) adjourned to the next sitting.
Roads and Public Places (Fees) Determination 2007 (No 1)
Motion for disallowance
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.40): I move:
That Disallowable Instrument DI2007-159, Roads and Public Places (Fees) Determination 2007 (No 1), made pursuant to the Roads and Public Places Act, be disallowed.
We move this motion of disallowance not least because the notice of the latest increases in fees imposed on cafes for placing objects in a public place contravenes the basis on which these fees were to be increased, but also because when the original increases were notified in 2005 they were too large at the outset.
A brief history of the matter is as follows: as from 1 July 2005, the fees applying to objects placed by cafes in a public place were to increase by 100 per cent. The first increase of 35 per cent occurred on 1 July 2005. The second increase of 33 per cent occurred on 1 July 2006. By this latest notice, the third increase of 33 per cent took effect from 1 July 2007. In principle, that all seems quite reasonable if you agree with the original 100 per cent increase, although, as the minister confirmed recently on WIN TV, 35 plus 33, plus 33 actually equals 101 per cent. The problem for the minister is that the effect is cumulative.
The issue raised by this motion—and this is the concern of the affected industry—is that the implementation of the policy to increase these fees has been flawed. These fees have not increased by 100 per cent on the base, but nearer to 140 per cent. The key reason for this motion of disallowance today is to remedy this injustice, to remedy the inequity of a government committing to one course but following another, more onerous course.
The question is: how did this injustice arise? Let us check the basis for the decision. The explanatory statement for this instrument states:
the third increase—
increase is part of a program to increase these fees by 100 per cent over three years.
There we have it. The increase is 100 per cent, that is, a doubling of the fees—nothing more and nothing less. The formal government document, in this case Disallowable Instrument 2007-159 is dated 28 June 2007 and is signed by John Hargreaves as minister. On Tuesday, 25 September this year I asked the minister a question on this matter in the Assembly. The answer from the minister was: