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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1791..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

and Bob Winnel. The Village Building Company in the last two years has built in excess of a thousand houses for under $400,000—house and land packages. It is an enormous achievement by that company and it is a great credit to them that they have sought to address issues at the entry level and for people looking for an affordable product as an entree into homeownership.

I conclude with just a brief comment on the amendments and the campaign which the Liberal Party have started today in response to the budget and the indications within the budget that the ACT government has determined or foreshadowed that it intends that the issues in relation to the change of use charge and its collection and appropriate administration will be pursued. I find this a remarkable campaign that the Liberal Party are now beginning. It is as if, in government, they did not support change of use. It is as if, in government, there was no change of use charge. The essential philosophy has not changed one iota. This is a valuable, finite community resource and the community has a right to expect that any increase in the value of that resource will be returned to the community. It is a very simple policy position and it has been generally accepted by all parties in this place since self-government.

Now we have this magic wand being waved by the Liberal Party: "Oh, we didn't really support change of use when we were in government. We didn't utilise it."We did not advance the argument that it was a fundamental principle that the community had a right to a return. Of course it has a right to a return. It is a philosophical policy position that we have adopted and that we will continue to maintain.

All we are saying today is that there has been an anomaly in the administration of the valuation of blocks subject to change of use and that we will address that anomaly. This is not any new tax; it is a change of use charge. It is being collected under the same formula, except that we are changing the administration to correct an anomaly.

Mr Smyth: It is a massive reapplication of the tax.

MR STANHOPE: It is not a massive reapplication. It is a determination to implement this charge as it was always intended to be implemented. There is this scare campaign—I find it remarkable to hear the Leader of the Opposition out there—that it will attack first homebuyers and young people trying to enter the market. As if it applies to greenfields! As if it applies to that great vast bulk of the 5,000 blocks that we will be releasing over this next year or the 8,000 blocks we have released over the last two years! It is completely irrelevant to them. It does not apply. It does not apply to greenfield estates. But we have this fear campaign—"a massive tax on families". Families moving into Forrest? It is a scaremongering campaign with no foundation—absolutely no foundation. It is just the Liberal Party doing what the Liberal Party does, basically running a line from the Property Council and a few developer mates that are a bit upset that they are going to actually have to pay the real value of the change of use. (Time expired.)

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.17): I thank members for their comments in support of the motion. I will say at the outset that the government will not be supporting Mr Seselja's amendment. I am, however, most impressed that after their initial disinterest the opposition suddenly woke up and decided to take an interest. I thought


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