Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3373 ..

MRS CARNELL: Mr Kaine, it is very hard to work it out because, as Mr Berry obviously is the Labor Party's appointed health expert - - -

Ms Follett: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I know that I have only to point this out to you to have it ruled out of order, but this question is entirely hypothetical - and calls for an opinion, what is more.

MR SPEAKER: Do not anticipate my response, Ms Follett. I uphold your point of order.

Change of Use Rights Charge

MS HORODNY: My question is directed to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning and relates to the announcement in the budget that betterment, which is now called the change of use rights charge, will be reduced from 100 per cent to 75 per cent. This seems to be in contradiction to the ACT Government's response to the Stein report, which was issued only in March this year, in which you stated that the use rights charge would be 100 per cent for all classes of land use but that there would be partial remission of the charge in appropriate cases as an incentive to development. You also rejected Stein's recommendation for an interim remission schedule which would have allowed a 75 per cent use rights charge. Could you therefore explain the Government's about-face on use rights charging so soon after the new policy was announced? Are you now saying that any development in the ACT should be encouraged regardless of its merits or its impacts on Canberra residents?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I welcome that question from Ms Horodny. I believe that if she examines what I had to say at the time that the Stein report was responded to by the Government she will see that we made it very clear that we were disappointed with a number of things about the Stein report. I never indicated that we were wholly and unequivocally welcoming of the Stein report. We had a number of misgivings about it, and at the time I believe I expressed very clearly considerable misgivings about issues such as the then betterment, now change of use rights charge. It has been the Government's policy for some time, and still is, that betterment constitutes a barrier to investment in this city and is therefore an opportunity lost with respect to jobs and growth. I think I made that clear at the time that the response to Stein was tabled, but I will check that and I will make sure that that is the case before I confirm it unequivocally on the floor of the house.

Mr Moore: You did do that.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Moore confirms that I did. Let us assume for argument's sake that I did say that we were in favour of 100 per cent betterment. Mr Speaker, I believe that the point has now been reached in the life of the Territory where we need to consider every step we can possibly consider that will provide for investment and growth in this city. I have therefore said - - -

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .