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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1027..


MR SMYTH

(continuing):

Have you revised the estimates of rates revenue for 2004-05 and 2005-06, resulting from the introduction of this new system? Does it show that the ACT government's revenue from rates will increase dramatically as a result of the changes? Will you inform the Assembly of those figures?

MR QUINLAN

: No. I have not revised the figures and no decisions have been taken at this stage-nor will be taken, I guess, until the system is implemented-as to what the formula might be. I imagine that is a year-to-year proposition. As budgets are produced each year, the forward estimates will reflect the decisions of the time.

I am interested to hear that many people think it is going to raise rates dramatically. I think the only way many people would come to that conclusion is if that erroneous information were pedalled loud and hard by a few people who have a vested interest in not seeing the rates system change.

As a sheer coincidence, there are quite a few people coming the other way and contacting my office to congratulate us on bringing in what they see as a sensible system-one that protects people from skyrocketing land values, as different areas of Canberra become desirable and therefore targets for rapid redevelopment and escalation in housing values.

MR SMYTH

: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Treasurer, why are you then proceeding with the introduction of an untried rates system, when you have not modelled its impact and do not know what it will do to the revenue of the ACT?

MR QUINLAN

: I did not say we had not modelled the impact. How many times has this question been asked? What I have been trying to say is that each year the rates formula has been adjusted, or tinkered with, to achieve a result. There is no reason in the world why the process of changing the formula to achieve a given result in the future-just for those houses which have changed hands; granted-would not continue.

If we wanted to model it, the number of variations of the model we could produce would be infinite. There is an almost infinite number of permutations which could occur in the future, just as there is an infinite number of different results which could occur in the future, if you continued with the formula system as the Liberal government used to.

MR SMYTH

: But we are talking about your system. You just do not know, do you?

MR QUINLAN

: No, you are not!

ACT Housing-rural properties

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the minister for housing. I have received many calls in my office in relation to the rural properties owned by ACT Housing that were destroyed in the bushfires. These ACT Housing tenants have not been informed whether their properties are going to be replaced. Minister, can you clarify the situation for these tenants whose properties were destroyed?


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