Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (22 November) . . Page.. 3742..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
intention to table a revised disallowable instrument which would reduce fees to the level they should have been under the government's 2005 cafe licence fee policy. I also indicated that businesses which paid higher than intended fees in 2006-07 and in this financial year would be refunded the full amount of the overpayment and that fees for the use of road verges for vehicle displays would be reduced to maintain parity with the outdoor cafe fees.
This fee determination, which was made under the Roads and Public Places Act 1937, fulfils my commitment to the Assembly. The determination reduces the licence fees for the balance of the financial year 2007-08 for outdoor cafes and for the use of road verges for commercial vehicle displays. The determination also provides for the refunding of overpayments to business owners who paid higher than intended fees in 2006-07 and in this financial year.
It is worth pointing out that, when my department miscalculated fees in previous years, there were some instances where the fees set were lower than the government's policy intended. Where this has occurred, the instrument does not retrospectively increase those fees; nor is it intended that such shortfalls will be deducted from refunds. As I indicated to the Assembly on 13 November, this determination will take effect from the date of its notification, which was yesterday, 21 November 2007.
The determination does not change other fees made under the Roads and Public Places Act. The revised annual fees for 2007-08 are $67.35 per square metre in busier areas of Civic, Manuka and Kingston; $56.25 per square metre in quieter areas of Civic as well as the town centres and some of the busier suburban shopping areas such as Dickson and Braddon; and $45 per square metre elsewhere.
Canberra's outdoor cafe fees compare very favourably with fees in other cities. I am advised, for example, that Wollongong City Council charges $45 per square metre in the suburbs and up to $165 per square metre in its Crown Street Mall. Charges in Newcastle range from $75 a square metre in the inner city to $40 a square metre in other areas, although the Newcastle City Council also charges an outdoor dining marker fee of $140 per dining area.
Outdoor cafe fees in Brisbane range from $90 a square metre in the suburbs to $314 a square metre in the Brisbane CBD. The Brisbane City Council also charges an initial application fee of $494 and a renewal fee of $145. The Gold Coast City Council's pavement rental fees range from $168 per square metre to $263 per square metre. Sydney city council's fees for pavement use range from $215.80 per square metre in Glebe to $577.20 a square metre in Circular Quay. Manly Council's fees range from $135 a square metre in Beatrice Street to $600 a square metre along the Corso.
In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with industry representatives to discuss the finer details of the refund arrangements for these fees.
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (3.43): I seek leave to make a ministerial statement concerning housing.