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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2957 ..


Ms Hunter, stand up and point to me in the government’s response where it says that. We have just heard the Treasurer say that they will provide this information, but that is an entirely different thing to what the Treasurer said yesterday. The problem here is that, yet again, the Greens have not read the recommendation. They have not read the motion that Mr Seselja has tabled.

Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker, it is very difficult to hear Mr Smyth. I would again ask you, as you did for Ms Hunter, as you did not for me, to ensure that there be some quiet so we can hear Mr Smyth deliver his speech.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Clerks, please stop the clocks for a minute. Members, I totally agree with Mr Seselja’s sentiments. Everyone should be listened to in peace. Mr Smyth, please continue.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. Yet again, it would appear that the Greens and the government have not read the motion and they just disagree with it. There is no case made as to what is wrong with the motion. Again, we get lazy words, ignorant words, compliant words, from Ms Hunter, saying that it is rehash of what we put in the report. It is not a rehash at all. What we have is enormous community concern. What we have are letters and communications from a number of groups, not the least of which is the Housing Industry Association—a small, lesser known organisation in the ACT, apparently—where they say, “We want some detail.” In fact, they say, “If the government provides the information, HIA will ensure that this communique is disseminated to its industry members.” They want some information because, as of the passing of this budget—if it passes—as of tomorrow, 1 July, the government is going to collect from $5 million to more than $14 million and the industry are concerned. Somebody has to pay that.

Ms Hunter said, “Developers will have to absorb the cost.” Ask a developer how they absorb $50,000 a unit in Braddon and still expect those units to go ahead. The cost is passed on. Somebody pays for it in the end. Either the government loses—both federal and territory government—because builders will pay less taxes because they have got more costs, or it is passed on to the purchaser who, of course, will have to work out how they fund an extra $50,000 for a unit, for example, in Braddon. Somebody pays for it in the end.

We have heard the quote from the Treasurer and when Mr Barr was quizzed about this in the estimates he said, “Any tax dampens demand.” It must have some effect. Taxes have an effect. The federal government are putting a tax on cigarettes. Why are they putting a tax on cigarettes? It is to dampen demand, to price people out of it. Taxes dampen demand. I am not aware of a single tax that encourages people to go out and purchase: “We’ll put a tax on that and then people will buy more of it because they want to give the government more tax.” It is illogical.

If members had actually read through Mr Seselja’s motion I do not think they would have been able to disagree with it. They just dismiss it. They do not disagree with it. Indeed, the Treasurer said, “Well, (a) is correct; the government has failed to collect the change of use charge and there is some arrangement that was entered in 2003. There is nothing wrong with that.” Paragraph (b) states:


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