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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 August 2008) . . Page.. 3687 ..


Ayes 7

Noes 9

Mrs Burke

Mr Smyth

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Dunne

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Dr Foskey

Mr Corbell

Ms Porter

Mr Mulcahy

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Seselja

Mr Gentleman

Question so resolved in the negative.

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (9.39): It is a pity that we are not taking more time to review this very important legislation, which is obviously going to have seriously detrimental impacts upon many in our community. It was said of the Bourbon kings of France that they forgot nothing and learnt nothing. The first, I think, referred to an appetite for revenge against those who opposed them. In fact, the Bourbons, with their arrogance and their calculated inability to hear what their subjects were saying, puts one in mind of this government with its autocratic and arrogant Chief Minister. With this government across every portfolio we get lese majeste and the refusal to consult, except after the fact as a means of justification when it means nothing except ticking a box.

Labor also have a reputation, both locally and federally, for being vengeful towards those who dare criticise them. The Chief Minister is on record as calling the Property Council an arm of the Liberal Party. This bill concerning unit titles is the Stanhope government up to their usual tricks. This is the equal highest taxing government in Australia, which is some achievement among a swathe of Labor governments. It is really what they do best. That is why the Chief Minister’s chief boast is about the money he has spent. It is not what you spend but how you spend it which makes the difference to public welfare.

In the case of the Unit Titles Amendment Bill, the ACT government is sneaking in yet another means of getting hold of the hard earned cash of the people of Canberra—in this case, all unit and apartment owners. This is because the bill changes important rules for the operation of owner corporations, body corporates, unit occupiers and on-site building managers in the ACT. According to these changes, body corporates will have to hold all general and administrative fund moneys in an ACT government trust fund. How convenient for this money-hungry scrooge of a government. With its hands in the pockets of unit and apartment owners, it will take the interest on those funds. The interest on the funds will be lost to the body corporate and the individual unit—

Mr Barr: Didn’t you listen to your own leader on the news tonight and in his own speech just 20 minutes ago?

MRS BURKE: How unfair is this? But we should not be surprised, because this government makes an art form of taxing its citizens for anything and everything whilst continuing to reduce services. The money taken in this way would normally be used to meet the needs of the trust holders and used to offset maintenance costs which, of course, can be very high. Under this bill, the interest money flows straight into


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