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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 August 2010) . . Page.. 3782 ..

MS GALLAGHER: The Canberra community will have more confidence in Mr Quinlan than they will in the shadow treasurer, as we have seen at every election. For the past three elections, they have voted with their feet down there in Tuggeranong. The terms of reference for this review are very comprehensive. Mr Quinlan, as I said, as a leading Canberran and a high-profile Canberran, will encourage people to get involved. As much as you guys over there do not like the whole idea and are going to make politics out of it for your own gain—

Mr Coe: Are you going to be consulting children?

MS GALLAGHER: This is some of the commentary that goes around this opposition for opposition’s sake. Just before a piece of work even starts, they come out, bag the people who are doing it, bag the intention, and create some scaremongering around it—that it is all about doing something which it is not. That is your approach to how you manage these really difficult issues for the future of Canberra. That is your way of dealing with it—just bag it; do not engage; have nothing to do with it. All the other feedback I have been getting, particularly from industry, is “Thank you for doing this. We are looking forward to it. We can’t wait to provide you with our submissions and we can’t wait to see the draft report when it is released.” Guess what: they care for Canberra and they are getting engaged, which is exactly what this process is about.

MRS DUNNE: Treasurer, how can the community have any confidence in the capacity of this review to deliver outcomes that will be equitable, when Mr Quinlan’s proposed new rating scheme—a failed rating scheme—would have been the most inequitable rating system that was ever devised in the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mrs Dunne will know this, because she has read all the terms of reference for this, in her desire to come out and bag it so early on—before it has even started. Before it has even started, they come out, and criticise it; not a scrap of work has been done, other than establishing the panel and getting the terms of reference, but the Liberals have already made up their mind. But you will notice from the terms of reference that a social impact assessment of any proposed reforms is also to be conducted as part of the review.

So that goes to the heart of your question, Mrs Dunne, and, if you had read the terms of reference, other than just being handed your mug’s question by your tactics group and, as you do every day, accepting it without understanding it, there is a clear term of reference there of a social impact assessment being done on every proposed reform, specifically to look at issues of equity.

And that is at the heart of this taxation review. At the heart of this taxation review has been criticism that some groups in the community are taking on too much of the taxation burden and others are not. So what this review seeks to do is to have a look at that argument—and they vary. Each group that feels that they are bearing the burden does vary, depending on which group you represent. So have a look at those arguments, see if there is any legitimacy to them and then work out a way forward. That is what this review is about. And that is why everyone—other than the Liberal opposition—is interested in actually getting a good quality piece of work done here.

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