Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4730 ..
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Ms Gallagher, you have the floor.
MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The increases in revenue forecast in the budget are not to do with the codification project that is underway. They are to do with rectification and with applying the law as it was intended to apply when it passed this chamber. There was agreement that charges should apply for the extra development rights granted to developers to invest back in the community, based on the fact that they would benefit from those extra development rights. This government supports that policy. The Liberals do not. The Liberal Party believes that we should allow developers to make huge windfall gains and not actually provide a return to the community. That is not something this government supports. This government has a proud record on introducing measures around housing affordability—a very proud record—and an extensive plan that we will discuss in this place today.
MR SPEAKER: Members, there is excessive interjection.
MS GALLAGHER: I think our housing affordability action plan and the need to ensure a rightful return to the community on extra development rights granted to developers are good policy as well. We support the rectification of change of use charge. In relation to codification, there is more work being done and I will bring it to the Assembly in due course for further discussion around it.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe?
MR COE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, given that the receipts from that tax are increasing by 185 per cent, if that is not a massive tax increase, what would be?
MS GALLAGHER: Because the budget has not been receiving the money it should have been receiving. Our estimates going back over all of the development applications—
MR SPEAKER: Order! There is an excessive level of intervention while the Treasurer is seeking to answer the question. I call the Treasurer.
MS GALLAGHER: Our estimate of the revenue forgone to the community over the last five years or so has been in the order of $20 million per annum. That is $20 million that has not returned to the territory for the rights granted to developers.
Mr Smyth: 185 per cent is modest?
MS GALLAGHER: It is not acceptable that that continues. That is why there is a significant change in the forecasts. We have not changed the tax. Let us just understand that. We have not changed the tax but the changes are about operating the way the law, which passed this place, was always meant to operate. That is the change and that has resulted in us forecasting extra revenue coming to the territory.