Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 November 2010) . . Page.. 5411 ..
homeowners the opportunity to get an up-front payment to support the costs of getting into homeownership.
It would also be against the IGA, which the ACT government is a signatory to, which allows the states and territories to set a first homeowner grant property value cap at not less than 1.4 times the relevant jurisdiction’s capital city median house price. For this, the lowest cap we could introduce would be $672,000, which is 1.4 times $480,000, which is the median house price in Canberra based on the ACTPLA sales data at the end of June 2010. The Greens’ amendment to cap it at 550 is clearly well below this limit and would not meet the terms of the IGA. I think the government’s intention was not necessarily to restrict access to the scheme. The amendment was around providing consistency across jurisdictions for access to the scheme. This is what is achieved by a cap of $750,000.
Apparently in my closing speech I said that the amendment would commence on or after 2001, instead of 2011. I just clarify that for members.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.19): We are very relieved at that correction. The opposition will not be supporting this amendment. Ms Hunter, in her speech, challenged the Treasurer to present the data in her analysis. I would challenge Ms Hunter to do the same. We hear bold assertions, but we are never given the benefit of the data to back up those assertions. It would be interesting to see if Ms Hunter can back up what she has just said.
I raise the point: if you wanted to purchase your first home in the inner city, it would be far more expensive than perhaps a block at the bottom of Tuggeranong or the top of Gungahlin. If you make a decision, for instance, that you want to be a one-car family or a no-car family, which apparently is dear to the Greens’ hearts, and therefore you choose a location that allows you to be close to public transport, to the schools of your choice, to the shops of your choice and to the community of your choice, often that will be in and around the city, and that is a far more expensive place to purchase a home.
If you have actually struggled and done the right thing and you want to make choices based on some of the things that apparently the Greens hold dear, you will have to pay a higher price for those locations. It is logical. We all know the prices in those locations are much higher than in the outer suburbs. But, according to this amendment, you are then excluded from the assistance to achieve that. It is important that if the Greens are going to put forward these amendments they actually back it up with data.
Where is the analysis on the cost of getting into the inner city as opposed to getting into the outer suburbs? I have not seen that. If we are serious about encouraging people to be one or no-car families, should they not get some assistance as well? There are many questions that are raised by the Greens’ amendment. I assume at the time it probably sounded sane, it looked good and it might have even made you feel good, but if we are trying to encourage families to live a different lifestyle then perhaps some assistance in that regard might be useful to those families to meet those ends. In that regard we will not be supporting the amendment.