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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 August 2019) . . Page.. 3215 ..

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Wall) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted to Ms Lawder for this sitting due to illness.

Mental health—services for the hearing and sight-impaired

MR WALL (Brindabella) (10.01): Pursuant to standing order 127, at the request of Ms Lawder, I ask that we fix the next day of sitting for the moving of this motion.


MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (10.02): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) rapidly increasing taxation by the ACT Government is driving Canberrans into financial hardship; and

(b) the ACT Government and the Legislative Assembly have a duty of care and obligation to put the best interests of Canberrans first; and

(2) calls on the Labor-Greens Government to stop their punitive increases to rates, taxes, fees and charges.

We owe it to all Canberrans, particularly those on low incomes, that we change this punitive rates regime. There is no doubt that the increases in rates, taxes, fees and charges that this Labor Party is imposing on Canberrans are hurting thousands of Canberra families. There is no doubt that these increases are punitive. They are regressive. They are hurting those on the lowest income the most.

From a Labor Party that claim to be about social justice, claim to represent those who are doing it tough, it is a very nasty regime that they have imposed on these families. After 18 years of Labor, 19 years come October next year, they are obviously far more interested in their own pet projects, far more interested in their own vanity, than they are in the welfare of the people that they are meant to represent.

The original plan that we were told about back in 2012 was that the rates reform would be more efficient and would be revenue neutral. Nobody can claim that this is revenue neutral. If efficiency means simply gouging Canberrans more, it has been a roaring success. There is no doubt about that. They have gouged Canberrans to a huge extent.

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