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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 September 2010) . . Page.. 4193 ..


MR STANHOPE: There are more buses, more services available, in the parliamentary triangle. Of course, to the extent that we can respond to demand, were demand to increase, we would respond. We are aware of that. We would respond. I made that point in answer to an earlier question.

There is no area of Canberra better served than the parliamentary triangle in terms of number of services and regularity of service. The major instances, of course, of a public transport service or a bus network are reliability, dependability and regularity. And all of those factors apply to anybody wishing to use or catch a bus anywhere in the parliamentary triangle.

MR SMYTH: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, does the ACT government invest in pay parking companies and would that be considered an ethical investment?

MR STANHOPE: I am not aware that we do, but I would regard it as a highly ethical investment. But it as an interesting issue and an interesting question, of course, and it depends on one’s particular perspective.

Taxation—change of use

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, I refer to recent claims by Mr Paul Powderly of Colliers International that the ACT is already 1,000 units behind where it should be, due to uncertainty over your great big tax on homes. Mr Powderly said, “What does that mean? Whatever is available sells for more money, it means there are less units to rent and so rents go through the roof.” Minister, has uncertainty over your great big tax on homes led to the ACT having 1,000 units fewer than it should do and has it led to rents going through the roof?

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. No, we do not believe so at all. The change that Mr Powderly is talking about is, of course, the move to codification of the change of use charge. This charge has been a charge in place in one form or another since the early 1970s. As much as the Liberals would like to paint it as a great big new tax, it is not a great big new tax; it is a tax that has been in place for many, many years, and now, since an anomaly has been identified, the correct amount of change of use charge is being paid for developments, particularly residential units and dual occupancy development.

As Mr Smyth would know, there is a range of pieces of work, or a range of work, at the moment being done, including, as requested by this Assembly and agreed by the government, around cost-benefit analyses, the economic impact of the proposed changes and the final report being provided to the government—it has not been provided at this point in time—for the information of members, prior to codification commencing. I think it is at that point that all the information will be available to all members to make up their own minds about this.


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