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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2962 ..


That is the important issue as we move forward. It is how we settle upon the right balance, recognising that the community has a right to see some of that windfall gain—it should not all be privatised—at the same time as ensuring that the policy settings are such that they do not act as a disincentive to property development.

In some of their characterisations of this debate, the opposition have sought to align it with the debate over mining taxation. It is interesting that even those most ardently opposed to the federal government’s original position in relation to the resource super profits tax at least accept the concept that some tax should be paid. There would appear to be a bit of confusion in the opposition’s argument here. Are they suggesting that there should be no changes in this charge—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order!

MR BARR: because their public arguments to date, running the lies, the great big new tax, straight out of the Tony Abbott book of politics—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. Mr Barr has the floor.

MR BARR: really do this debate no credit. Finding that balance will be an important task over the weeks and months ahead, recognising that it is not just a static analysis that is needed. This market is dynamic. There will be adjustments. Markets do adjust. The assumption, for example, that there is a fixed supply is one that is tested by draft variation 303 that is out for comment at the moment. It proposes a reduction in the minimum block size for dual occupancies that potentially makes another 25,000 blocks across the territory open for dual occupancy development. If that draft variation is supported through the consultation process, we will see a massive increase on the supply side in relation to potential dual occupancies. That will also need to be factored into that larger policy question in relation to where the incidence of this tax will fall.

As we discussed in the estimates committee, it will depend, of course, on the relative elasticities of supply and demand. It is a fairly simple economic concept that they cover in economics I at ANU. It is probably 20 years ago for some of us who were studying that. We would be aware of this concept. It is something that we will continue to work through with industry but it is an important policy issue that must be addressed.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (7.40): I did not think that anyone was going to match Ms Hunter for ignorance in this debate, but Mr Barr has. He is scurrying out the door now because he is so embarrassed. Mr Barr has just accused his Treasurer of engaging in grubby politics. That is what he has just said. He says that the claims of an arrangement or a deal are grubby politics. We did not make that claim; the Treasurer did. The Treasurer made that claim. This is what happens. No doubt his staff will be listening upstairs as he scurries away in embarrassment.


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