Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 3 Hansard (26 February) . . Page.. 736..
spite of all of the doom and gloom that is portrayed by those opposite, we continue to receive applications that attract the lease variation charge. At last count, there are nearly 100 applications that have been determined and are waiting assessment in commercial, residential and mixed use developments. We will see a continuation of development in the city and a continuation of revenue from the lease variation charge that the government is putting into urban improvement. Again, if it is the Liberal Party's position that this charge should not apply, let them state that and let them also indicate that they do not support the investment in urban improvement in Canberra.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Treasurer, could you tell us more about these changes in the Canberra property market and when they might have occurred before?
MR BARR: Thank you, Dr Bourke.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR BARR: I am pleased that those opposite are so interested. It may be news to some, but there are fluctuations in markets. There are periods of increased supply and increased demand. These things tend to be impacted upon by a variety of different public policy settings at both a territory and a federal government level. In fact, they can also be impacted upon by global trends.
We have seen in the past periods of increased supply in housing and periods of lesser supply. We have seen periods when there have been significant increases in demand that have been fuelled by particular policy settings and other periods when we have seen lower demand. There is certainly a very strong correlation in demand in the housing market in the ACT with employment levels in the commonwealth public service. I think that, tracked over the long run, it shows a very close correlation there. The level of interest rates also impacts on demand and on supply. The attractiveness of other forms of investment will also impact on a market.
We also need to recognise the extent to which an economy of this size and a market of this size can absorb large volumes of new supply. We certainly had a period in the last three or four years where there has been way above long-run trend levels of investment and new supply of both residential and commercial stock in the city. That is not sustainable forever. You would always anticipate a return to more long-run average levels, and that is what we are seeing at the moment.
MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. In the parliamentary agreement for the Eighth Legislative Assembly signed by ACT Labor and the ACT Greens, an initiative that ACT Labor agrees to support or implement is to: