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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1750 ..

Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (2.01): Pursuant to standing order 22, I move:

That leave of absence be granted to Mr Corbell for this sitting day, for family reasons.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Questions without notice

Taxation—change of use

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, this morning you confirmed that your government is pursuing your massive tax on homes via the change of use charge. This massive tax on homes will act as an impediment to higher density living in and around town centres. What other negative impacts will your massive tax on homes have?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for this surprise question. We had not expected to get one on the change of use charge. I also acknowledge the language around a tax grab or a great new tax. It seems that the opposition are taking their instruction from Tony Abbott around big taxes.

The feeling and the theme I am picking up from the opposition is that they do not believe that the territory, the community of the ACT, should receive appropriate revenue for granting development rights that yield significant profits to the private sector and private developers in the ACT. We do not apologise for pursuing adequate, reasonable revenue growth in applying the change of use charge, as was intended when the legislation was put in place.

I would ask the Leader of the Opposition how the government can ignore advice that we receive from independent analysis around the change of use charge—

Mr Seselja: Point of order, Mr Speaker, on relevance. The question was very specific: what are the negative impacts of the massive tax on homes? Ms Gallagher is not here to ask us questions. It is a very specific question about the impacts of this tax outlined in this budget.

MS GALLAGHER: There is not one. We do not believe that there will be any negative impact from this. And there should not be. This extra revenue being factored in is applying the law as it exists at this point in time. What it is saying is that site-by-site valuations should be conducted under the change of use charge. There should not be a fixed fee. That is the intention of the legislation. The government has received advice through the report that was done into codification. If the opposition had bothered to read that report—it has been out for some time, and I have not heard a peep out of you on it. I have not heard a peep from the opposition—until it is the only thing that they can find in the budget that they can whine and whinge about: that the ACT budget is given the revenue it deserves from granting additional development rights to developers who get large windfall gains from that development.

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