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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (8 June) . . Page.. 1991..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

A fire levy is imposed in every other state in Australia. Every other state has a fire levy to reflect the cost of emergency services in protecting the community. You are not interested in that. Funding has increased by 46 per cent because you did not care. You underfunded emergency services and there was a consequence of that. The question that is begged by that is: why have we had to increase funding by 46 per cent since taking over from you?

Question put:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Assembly voted-

Ayes 8

Noes 5

Mr Barr

Mr Gentleman

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Pratt

Dr Foskey

Ms Porter

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Smyth

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Select Committee on Estimates 2006-2007-reference

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (6.34): Pursuant to standing order 174, I move:

That the Rates Amendment Bill 2006 be referred to the Select Committee on Estimates 2006-2007.

Sitting suspended from 6.36 to 8.00 pm.

MR MULCAHY: I do not intend to labour this issue-I am conscious of the late hour that members have to sit tonight, and I know there are a number of matters that have to be considered this evening-but I do believe that it is an important issue that I addressed in my earlier comments.

In the context of this budget, if we are going to bring in measures of this kind that have such an impact on every single household and business in Canberra, especially as there is the paucity of information in relation to this measure that we have identified-my colleague Mr Pratt made reference to it-it is only appropriate that the bill should be submitted to an estimates committee. If this were an ad hoc decision of the government to introduce a revenue measure, there was ample opportunity earlier in the year, there was a revenue bill introduced by the former Treasurer, and there were changes made to it around the period close to Easter when it was next considered.

I see no reason why, when bringing in these bills in the period of the budget, no briefing is extended. Then we are told that the whole thing has to be rushed through in 48 hours.

When there has been an estimates committee convened by the Assembly and dominated

by government members, there ought to be at least a willingness to respect the

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