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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 May 2018) . . Page.. 1559 ..

psychiatry—junior medical officers—working in the child and adolescent mental health service.

From these activities it is clear that we are not standing still. ACT Health is undertaking considerable work to drive improvements that will increase access to mental health services. Today I am pleased to reiterate my commitment to creating a mental health system that is recovery focused and aimed at keeping Canberrans well. I look forward to continuing to update the Assembly and the community on the work of the office for mental health and wellbeing and other important initiatives that are underway to improve mental health services in the territory.

I present the following paper:

Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing—Update on proposed model and functions—Ministerial statement, 8 May 2018.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Land Tax Amendment Bill 2018

Debate resumed from 12 April 2018, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (12.20): The opposition will not be supporting the Land Tax Amendment Bill 2018. The bill does not address housing affordability issues and we do not believe the changes are in the best interests of our city or of Canberrans. The Treasurer has also failed to provide answers to reasonable questions on the mechanics and modelling underlying the bill.

This bill appears to be another example of a Labor-Greens government tax grab, with the government looking to gouge a projected $10 million in additional revenue across the forward estimates. Labor and the Greens continue to advance policies which make it more expensive for people to live in Canberra and we keep seeing hardworking families pushed across the border or driven into financial hardship. We have seen how destructive the recent changes to rates and land tax have been on Canberrans, and now the Labor-Greens government wants to extend that hardship to even more households and families.

The first part of this bill changes the test for land tax liability from a rented test to a principal place of residence test. This new test has the broadest possible scope and will capture what the Labor-Greens government has identified as vacant properties. Whilst the government contends that forcing these owners to put their homes on the market is a good thing, it essentially compels the owners to put them up for rent or else.

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