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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 18 March 2010) . . Page.. 1101 ..


on a real piece of legislation, a real vote, to hold the government to account, and the Liberal Party have squibbed it. I think it shows some true colours in this chamber this week and highlights the shocking hypocrisy of those across the chamber.

Question put:

That Mr Rattenbury’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 3

Noes 9

Ms Bresnan

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Doszpot

Mr Seselja

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.41), by leave: I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 2 at page 1162].

This is a simple amendment that enables the ACAT to include reasonable holding costs as well as reasonable legal costs in considering a cost order for frivolous or vexatious claims in planning matters. The JACS bill currently specifically excludes holding costs as allowable costs for the ACAT to consider.

Albeit not providing a definition for holding costs, nonetheless the JACS bill gives examples of the kinds of costs that could be regarded as holding costs. These include such things as interest and charges on loans, employee costs and equipment hire, and notes that the examples are not exhaustive. In the opinion of the Canberra Liberals and as outlined in my speech during the in-principle debate, it is unreasonable to expect the respondent in a frivolous or vexatious matter to be carrying holding costs while the matter is pursued through the ACAT.

The position that we have taken is supported by the comments of the Property Council which I quoted in my earlier speech. The Property Council said:

The effect of this carve-out—

that is, the exclusion of holding costs from the menu of costs that the ACAT can consider—

may mean that respondents faced with a vexatious/frivolous claim ultimately end up out of pocket (in addition to being faced with the resulting delay).

All of this adds to costs for building. It also should be noted that holding costs for the most part would be greater than the other sorts of costs that are allowable. Frivolous and


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