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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 November 2010) . . Page.. 5491 ..

do need to ask the question: do they have it at top of mind? We do not believe that they do, and we believe that they should.

Any government, any representative, should have these factors at the top of mind, because, in the end, there are some things we can influence and there are some things we cannot. The things that we can influence as representatives should be about taking the burden from those whom we represent. Mrs Dunne will touch on some other areas of cost burdens—for example, childcare and water—and she will go into some detail on that. But if the Treasurer believes that rent and the cost of housing, water, electricity, public transport and rates are not core issues and are in some way selective, that demonstrates just how out of touch this government are.

They have become out of touch with their community; they are not listening to their community. They are not listening to the young families who already have a massive burden in terms of paying back debt. In some cases, they have large HECS debts and large debts on their houses, because that is the only way they can get into the housing market. They pay a lot in rent. This government are slugging them with an extra 75 per cent in rates. This government are adding to their electricity bills. This government are adding to their water bills. This government have pushed up rents. There is no escaping this conclusion. The figures speak for themselves; they speak very clearly and they speak very powerfully.

In closing, I commend the motion to members. We will continue to highlight these issues. We will continue to fight for these communities who are not getting the return on the massive increases they are paying in all of these areas. We will continue to fight. The Assembly should highlight these, and I also believe we should put in place some accountability measures for the government so that it takes these things into account in developing policies and that it is accountable directly and gives a statement on the cost of living. We have all sorts of accountability measures for the government. We have all sorts of things that we get them to do. There are very few more important things to the average Canberra family than their bottom line. I commend this motion to the Assembly. I commend the extra transparency, and we will continue to fight to take the burden from Canberra families. (Time expired.)

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.17): I move the amendment circulated in my name:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes that:

(a) electricity and water prices are set by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission;

(b) rates are calculated based on known formula consisting of a fixed charge and a valuation charge using a three year rolling average of market values;

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