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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1988 ..

note thisMS TUCKER (continuing):

, Mr Smyth -

particularly with respect to downsizing of the Commonwealth public service and its impact on the ACT, made it difficult, if not impossible, to isolate the effects of the CUC on investment from these other factors affecting investment in the ACT.

Whoops, Mr Smyth. This later bit might be the bit that Mr Smyth read:

While this makes it impossible to quantify the impact of the CUC on investment, as has been stated above, during the conducting of this study both individual developers and professional bodies associated with the property industry continually emphasised that the current system for obtaining development approval, including the determination of CUC, is a real deterrent to development/redevelopment in the ACT.

It is an urban myth that has been created by the development community. The professor has said the data is not there, and the way the Minister has represented that report here today is quite incorrect.

I accept that there may be a need to change the system of calculating change of use charges. The current system does seem fairly complicated, with considerable scope for arguments over the value of land before and after development which affects the charge finally made. There is probably a good argument for looking at systems that allow the betterment charge to be determined up front. It may be useful for the Urban Services Committee to revisit some of the recommendations of the Stein inquiry into the leasehold system on this issue.

In conclusion, the inquiry by the Urban Services Committee will allow all interested parties to provide their comments on the Nicholls report, which will be essential to the Assembly's deliberations on this controversial issue.

MR RUGENDYKE (12.26): Mr Speaker, some time ago I had a briefing from Professor Des Nicholls, and I must say I thought that briefing was exceptionally good. I agreed with Professor Nicholls that a betterment rate of 50 per cent was the way to go, and that was in my mind. There appears to be a broad range of philosophical views on whether it ought to be 50 per cent or less or 100 per cent or more. So, to that extent, it does come down to people's own individual ideas.

Mr Speaker, it is interesting to note that this is a fine example of how our democracy works here. I have been lobbied from all sides of the chamber on this very important issue, but it was the fine speech by Mr Wood that changed my mind completely. I now reject Mr Smyth's amendments and will support Mr Corbell's motion.

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