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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1605..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

A whole range of important projects are being facilitated through the strategic projects unit, and they are broad and wide. That is the area that has handled and managed all negotiations and coordination in relation to the Narrabundah caravan park. It is currently doing the scoping work on the future of the Yarralumla brickworks. There is the broadest range in that area, and it has a fundamental role. There are not many roles or functions within the ACT public service that I would have thought were more important or of a higher priority, in the context of the services that it performs.

Of course, Mr Mulcahy, this is the business of government—making hard, difficult and complex decisions in relation to weighing up one priority as against another, and providing the necessary funding to pursue those particular priorities. It is always an issue. It is why, for instance, the government is not inclined to support the abolition of stamp duty for incredibly wealthy first home buyers. There is absolutely no positive imperative. We have analysed, for instance, the implications or the public good that would be involved in or devolved from a decision to allow somebody earning in the vicinity of $150,000 a year the capacity to access a stamp duty reduction when they are under absolutely no economic or housing stress and when the policy would actually worsen the situation in relation to affordability.

They are the sorts of decisions that government makes all the time. We would not make such wrong-headed policy decisions in relation to the forgoing of amazing swags of revenue—$30 million of revenue a year. They are the decisions we make. That is why, particularly in relation to such flawed policy, tied on or tacked to the sort of voodoo economics that we now see being promulgated by the Leader of the Opposition and his shadow Treasurer—

Mr Barr: I think that's being unfair to voodoo economics, actually.

MR STANHOPE: That is being unfair to voodoo economics, is it? The voodoo notion is that you can provide a stamp duty exemption to a person earning $150,000 a year and pretend that you are dealing with affordability for people living in housing stress. It is an amazing suggestion that, through the voodoo economics of the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Treasurer, you can provide a stamp duty exemption to a person earning $150,000 a year and pretend that you are serious about the issue of housing affordability or dealing with issues of people living with housing stress. It is quite remarkable. So we do not support those sorts of notions that are populist, simplistic and counterproductive. The Liberal Party's abolition of stamp duty for people earning $150,000 a year is a seriously flawed policy that will do nothing for housing affordability, and will actually act against the interests of people in genuine housing stress, who will be forced to compete in a competitive market for a limited supply of housing.

I am more than happy, Mr Mulcahy, to take your question on notice and provide the further detail you seek, but the second part of your question is so generally hypothetical that there is really nothing I can add.

Environment—energy efficiency standards

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Minister for Planning and it is in regard to minimum energy efficiency standards in the ACT. The minister would be aware that,


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