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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 6 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1878..


We now have a Treasurer committing $1.5 million to the project. So is the government in or out of this project? I welcome the money. We hear on the grapevine that there is another $8 million behind it, so it looks to be close to $10 million. We asked for it last sitting week, and the government, aided and abetted by the Greens, voted it down.

If you need to parse this budget, in simple terms this budget can be summed up in two words: more debt. It is debt which future generations will have to pay for, it is debt that has already increased taxes and charges, and it will stifle growth, economic diversification and household confidence.

It is no coincidence that gross state product output growth is decreasing from an actual 2.7 per cent in 2012-13 to 1.75 per cent in 2014-15. The ACT has experienced such low GSP levels only twice since 1991.

So how does this all play out? The fundamental point that the Treasurer misses is that public works means more taxes and charges, and taxes discourage production. It is no wonder that we see taxes going up.

Madam Assistant Speaker, you were there on Tuesday night when Mr Gentlemen let the cat out of the bag, when he told the Tuggeranong Community Council that conveyances would be phased out in the next four or five years. Four or five years! The Treasurer can laugh, but Mr Gentleman let the cat out of the bag. Conveyancing is gone in four to five years. Here is the would-be minister, in answer to a question on rates, "Will they triple?"saying, "No, but the conveyancing is going in four to five years."Thanks, Mick, for letting that one out of the bag.

Let us look at the other taxes that are rising. Parking will increase by 30 per cent. Transport costs for families will increase by an average of 8.5 per cent. Utilities will increase by up to 8.5 per cent. For general rates, the take is up 13 per cent and the average is up 10 per cent. Land tax is up 18 per cent, payroll tax by eight per cent, motor registration fees are up six per cent, and of course the fire and emergency services levy is up 28 per cent. Well done, Mr Corbell, for trying to hang that one on the Abbott government as well. The fire and emergency services levy is a consequence of this government's inability to negotiate with the Gillard-Rudd governments, and it is the Gillard-Rudd governments that have refused to pay for the fire service that we provide. So well done, Mr Corbell!

These are the budgetary signals to the government's political smoke, but these are just the headline percentages. It is about real people getting their bills. This morning, for instance, Pialligo residents woke up to learn that their rates have increased by 35 per cent. Businesses will have a 35 per cent increase in their fire and emergency services levy. For certain types of rental properties, land tax will be tripling. This is on top of the rates increases that we all know about—10 per cent on 10 per cent on 10 per cent triples your rates in just over a decade, not in the latter half of the century, as Mr Barr tried to fool Canberrans with, but again he has been caught out.


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