Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2119..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
There are two variants from the previous system. In line with the government's election commitment, the CPI increase applied to the overall revenue rates increase will be based on actual CPI, rather than that forecast, which has been the case in the past and has sometimes had the effect of over-charging. There will no longer be a forced split between commercial and residential revenue of 15 per cent/85 per cent. That always seemed to me to be arbitrary nonsense anyway. This means that each sector's revenue contribution increases by CPI only.
Mr Speaker, during the hearings and discussions and the newspaper analyses of the proposed system, I think it was universally agreed that, whatever system we come up with, it needs to be value based. Last year we effectively had a suspension of that value base. We were heading towards a system that would have CPI increases for residents while they did not move, but would always allow the rates to return to a value-based foundation.
We need to return to that promptly. If we just continued and said, "Oh well, this year we'll put them up by CPI again", we would be setting in stone the relativities which exist today. As areas change in value, the relativities between areas are going to change.
When, or if, my system rises again-like a phoenix-or another system comes forward, you can be certain that that system will have a large element of value base in it. It would be extremely irresponsible to suspend, indefinitely, a process which incorporates value into the base of rates. If we're not careful, when a new system comes in, the adjustment between the flat CPI system and a value-based system will be dramatic in some areas.
I cop the fact that my system is not acceptable to the majority in this Assembly, but I emphasise that it would be vandalism to not return to a value based system until we have a firm alternate system in mind.
In respect of the discussions of the committee and the writing of the report, one reason the system we put forward was not supported was that there were no alternatives suggested. That means that, at this point in time, we are left without a viable alternative to the previous system. As I said, it would be irresponsible in the extreme to not return to the value-based system until we can collectively find a better way. I commend the bill to the house.
Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.
Nurses Amendment Bill 2003
Debate resumed from 8 May 2003, on motion by Mr Corbell:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR SMYTH(Leader of the Opposition) (12.00): The opposition will be supporting both the bill and the amendments. Contrary to a position put yesterday that we are always negative and never support anything, here is a clear alternative example-the following day.