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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 860..


land values start to skyrocket, as they have from time to time and place to place in the ACT, you will be protected from the quite negative fallout from that process.

MR SMYTH

: I ask a supplementary question. Treasurer, I did not use the word "inequitable". Is it equitable or fair for leaseholders not receiving concessions who live next door to each other to pay vastly different levels of rates for the same value property and the same services, simply because one resident has lived in the suburb for longer than the other?

MR QUINLAN

: I seem to think so. Certainly, under previous systems people living in different suburbs have paid different rates for the same level of service. People will make a conscious decision to buy into an area because of its relative desirability and the utility of possibly living close to town or whatever. I am very happy to be discussing this system now because I think it is and will be a step forward in terms of fairness.

There are people who have lived for many years in the suburb of, let us say, Deakin-I know some of them-whose rates have increased because land values have increased. They are people on modest incomes but they happen to be asset rich because of their house. They can be protected somewhat because of rebate or deferment-not many people opt for deferment at this stage. But at the same time there are people moving into areas like Deakin because they want to live in a desirable area and because Deakin has an amenity and an appeal for them. I think that because they have made a conscious decision today to move into the desirable area of Deakin they should pay the rates associated with the value of land there. I am happy to defend this system in any forum you like because I think it is a far fairer system than the one that was applied in the last days of a Liberal government.

Bushfires-resident survey

MS MacDONALD

: My question is to the Chief Minister. Yesterday's Canberra Times reported on a survey, undertaken on behalf of the government's bushfire recovery task force, of householders affected by the disastrous January bushfires. Can you tell the Assembly the purpose of the survey and report on its principal findings?

MR STANHOPE

: Market Attitude Research Services (MARS) was contracted by the government to help the task force identify specific future housing needs of people affected by the bushfires and to assist the task force develop effective responses to the needs of the people affected.

Householder response to the survey was particularly positive, with all of those involved being very ready to be interviewed and to assist the bushfire recovery task force in determining ways forward. In total, the residents of 470 destroyed dwellings within metropolitan and rural areas were covered by the research project. MARS interviewed 403 residents of destroyed dwellings.

The first of the key findings from the survey was that almost six in 10 home owners and dwelling renters who had their dwelling destroyed intend to return to the suburb in which they lived prior to the fire. Of the 403 households interviewed, seven in 10 were owners of the homes destroyed. That is, 274 of the dwellings destroyed were owned. About three


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