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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 6129..


Government—state

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Mr Speaker has received letters from Ms Bresnan, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Mr Hargreaves, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Mr Hanson be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The state of the Stanhope government.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (4.04): In rising to talk about the state of the Stanhope government it struck me that it would be appropriate to speak from the perspective not of the Assembly but of a typical Canberra resident on what they would think about the state of the Stanhope government. So if you are a pensioner, a uni student, a mum, a dad, whether you are living in the inner city or out in the suburbs, what would be your view of the Stanhope government and how it has performed?

There is a lot to cover, but I think I will start at the hip pocket, which is certainly an issue that concerns every Canberra resident. If you look at the increase in fees and charges since the Stanhope government has come to power—and certainly since 2001—you can just imagine what the average Canberran will be thinking. As an example, electricity prices for the average household have gone up by about 70 per cent. For water, the fees and charges have gone up about 106 per cent.

If you are struggling to pay rent, you will find that the price of your rent will have gone up by an average of 55 per cent. For rates—for the information of members—the increase is 75 per cent. I looked at a couple of suburbs which might be relevant to people I know and how my good neighbours, John and Pam McAlister, might find their rates have gone up. In the suburb of Holder their rates will have gone up by 87 per cent in that time frame. In other suburbs—for example, where Mr Doszpot lives in Calwell—rates have gone up 99 per cent.

If you need to take public transport or if you choose to take public transport, you will find that the cost of doing so has gone up in that period by 31 per cent. Since 2002 the median house price, for those who can still afford a house—and that is now increasingly out of the reach of so many Canberrans, be they singles or young couples trying to get into the market—has gone from $245,000 to $550,000. That is an enormous increase in price during the life of the Stanhope government, which has really done very little to ameliorate that massive increase, doubling the price of housing in the ACT. It is not about to get any better.

If you look at the document that was just tabled by the Treasurer on the change of use charge, you will see that the amount of increase in the change of use charge means that it is more than likely—and I would say very likely—that we are going to see quite significant increases in new developments and probably further squeezes on the availability of housing as developers now consider whether or not they will actually go ahead with certain developments. If you are a young family with kids, you will be suffering under the—is it the highest or the second highest, Mrs Dunne?—rates of childcare in the nation.


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