Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 October 2022) . . Page.. 3273 ..
MADAM SPEAKER: I remind members that in debating order of the day No 1, executive business, they may also address their remarks to executive business order of the day No 2, and Assembly business order of the day No 1.
MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (10.14): It has become clear to me from estimates, and through a brief look at the annual reports, that the City Renewal Authority, in my opinion, does not consider the effect on the payers of the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy. It does not consider the impact of the CCMIL levy on payers of this levy to the degree that I think is satisfactory.
We saw during estimates that there was a consultation on the Odgers Lane redevelopment. It was very disappointing to hear that after this project was consulted on, there was no request to the payers of the levy and those affected by this development for consultation on the impact of this development—a post-survey consultation was not undertaken, and that was very disappointing to hear. It was basically explained in this manner: “We think we did a good job of consulting with them.” That was the answer. It is a bit like marking your own homework.
I did follow-up and asked some questions, which were taken on notice, about how the levy is regarded by the payers of it, and the work of the CRA. It was disappointing that, in April/May this year, a survey was posted, and this is the answer from the Chief Minister:
In April/May 2022 a survey was posted to 650 payers via ACT Revenue and promoted via the CCMIL Advisory Group … Only 16 payers responded …
That is a pretty disappointing level of response, which perhaps does not reflect just on the payers’ interest but on how they are being reached out to by CRA. While this five-minute survey was opened online by 200 people, it clearly cannot be seen as a representative response to the impact of the levy on the payers and how they view the investment of their levy in doing the City Renewal Authority’s work.
The advisory group has agreed to continue to support the authority to get a better understanding of payers of the levy and to continue to advise on priority settings for initiatives. I certainly will be keen to see how they intend to increase the interest of the payers of the levy in the impact of it on the city area.
I notice, as well, that the authority invited payers to three online workshops. One was cancelled due to low numbers, and two were conducted in August with high-level findings shared. I thank the Chief Minister for providing a summary of that.
Just touching back on the development in Odgers Lane, it was disappointing that feedback that leader Elizabeth Lee and I received, when we visited the site last year, was that the consultation was not adequate—despite the report coming back from the authority during estimates saying, “We thought we did a great job.” That is not what we heard on the ground. It is sad to see that the Church Neighbourhood Goods cafe publicly condemned the effects of the works on their business and, unfortunately, had to close.