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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 13 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 4476 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

markedly reduced under the impact of the combination of a fixed charge and rolling three-year variations. Under the old system that change in average rates liabilities varies from an increase of 18 per cent, or $346, in Reid, to a reduction of 21 per cent, or $139, in Spence. Under the proposed system this range narrows down to an increase of 10 per cent, or $188, in Reid, to a reduction of 8 per cent, or $52, in Spence.

It is the Government's view that, given that the level of municipal services varies little from year to year or suburb to suburb, it is not equitable to have rates in one suburb jump by 18 per cent and rates in another suburb drop by 21 per cent. That is why we have sought to come up with a system that narrows that range of variations, while still being progressive and reflecting capacity to pay. The Assembly, of course, rejected the Government's original proposal of a straight CPI increase, which we would argue was also equitable and progressive.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I have outlined, the proposed system is markedly different from the way that rates have been previously assessed. There has already been extensive community consultation on the issue of rating systems during each of the two rates reviews which I referred to. This proposal draws on the outcomes of both of those reviews. However, it is being introduced as an exposure draft in order to give members of the Assembly and the community adequate time to fully examine the proposal before it is debated in the autumn sittings.

Debate (on motion by Mr Berry) adjourned.

Ministerial Statement and Paper

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning): I seek leave to make a ministerial statement about section 71, McKellar.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank members. Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to make a statement and table a document in response to a number of issues raised in correspondence with the Assembly's Standing Committee on Planning and Environment. The correspondence concerns the current public environment report which has been lodged in relation to the proposed grant of a lease over part of section 71, McKellar to the Belconnen Soccer Club. The statement I am making now has been prepared in response to a letter I received from the chair of the committee, Mr Moore, seeking an opportunity for the Assembly to debate the proposal before I make any decision on the public environment report.

The background to this proposal is that on 16 September 1994 the Belconnen Soccer Club applied for a lease over part of section 71. On 15 March 1995 a preliminary assessment was triggered and the former Environment and Land Bureau was designated as proponent. That was because the land presently is unleased. The Belconnen Soccer Club prepared a preliminary assessment, which was notified for public consultation

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