Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1985 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
Here we have the independent umpire. The Opposition scoffs at the term "independent umpire". Mr Corbell made some statement at the start of his speech about the Government getting up and talking about the independent umpire. Mr Humphries will speak further about this because he is the one who consulted with fellow Assembly members at that time to find out whether Professor Nicholls was the person that they all believed could do this report. They all agreed to Professor Nicholls. What we have here I think is an excellent report in the way that he has set it out and the conclusions that he has come to. He says it is a two-step process. We should drop to 50 per cent. We should give the industry that encouragement. We should make sure that those jobs that will come from additional investment come to Canberra, and come now. They can come now.
What the Labor Party is saying is: "Let's have a malaise. Let's sit back. Let's put into this indecision. Let's say, 'No, no, no, we don't want that' ".
Mr Wood: Why don't you talk sense, just for once?
Ms Tucker: I did not hear you say that, Simon.
Mr Quinlan: We are back to the standard speech again. Turn the page.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Settle down.
MR SMYTH: Here come the hyenas, as the Canberra Times called them. The dogs are starting to bark. They do not like this. We want to get on with building up Canberra. They will do anything in their power to stand in the way of the Government fulfilling its obligations to people in the ACT.
Mr Speaker, this is a good report. It is the report of somebody who is respected in his field. It is a report that I think is quite logical in the way that it is presented. Its conclusions are logical. Two steps; the 75 per cent should go to 50 per cent because it is an impediment on investment in the ACT. So, if you are against investment in the ACT, vote for this motion. If you are against extra jobs in the ACT, vote for this motion. What we will do, Mr Speaker, in moving these amendments, is immediately drop the change of use charge to 50 per cent. What we can do afterwards, of course, is look at some sort of plan; perhaps a section 94, such as the New South Wales system, which is what Professor Nicholls looks at. We can do that in a considered way and make sure that we come up with a system that allows investment in the ACT to progress and we get those essential jobs that come with it.
This will come down to the crossbenchers. I would urge the crossbenchers to consider what Professor Nicholls has said. Professor Nicholls has made it quite clear that he sees the change of use charge as an impediment. He says that we really should drop it straightaway, but he does not leave it at that. He said that long term we must look at the options. Chapter 8 of his report makes it quite clear that there are some good options that we can follow, and I would be delighted to work with the Urban Services Committee to make sure that those options are considered properly.