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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1989 ..

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (12.27): Mr Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the chamber and join with my colleague Simon Corbell in knocking the Government off on the silly amendments that they have put up here because of their lack of understanding and their inability to wrap their minds around sending something to a committee. It is not hard to send something to a committee to have a look at.

The most significant part, I think, is an argument put by Mr Smyth, who suggested that there is a real urgency now and that Professor Nicholls suggested we had to change it to 50 per cent straightaway. We did not see any urgency when we were asking for this report. To my recollection, we have been trying to get this report completed for two years, so the notion that another three months is going to make a major difference is just silly, particularly when we know that we are not in a phase of very strong development, as Mr Wood pointed out.

Mr Smyth: But it is coming, and you admitted it is six or seven months away. So let's get ready now.

MR MOORE: I think it is coming and that is why it will be incumbent upon the committee to work quickly. But let us just remember that in Hong Kong, where they run a very strict leasehold system, with 100 per cent and no exemptions, we do not see a lack of development, although the two are not necessarily related.

I think the other thing that is interesting from Professor Nicholls' report is the notion that an increase in change of use charge or betterment provides disincentive to development. The evidence, once again, is only anecdotal. People say it does. Of course, people who want to make more profit will say that. Why wouldn't they? It is a shame that we did not get an academic analysis. Perhaps the information is impossible to get. I am not criticising Professor Nicholls. He actually said himself that it was not possible to do that kind of analysis.

In terms of the motion that we are referring this to a committee, this is exactly what happened with the Stein report. There were elements of the Stein report and of the committee's report that the Government rejected.

Mr Humphries: That is another report that got buried in a committee, didn't it?

MR MOORE: It is normal and appropriate for us to take this through to the committee. Mr Humphries suggests that that report got buried in the committee. Not at all. That report went through a very long and sensible process in the committee, with a very competent but modest chair, and came out with a very sensible report which, with a couple of exceptions, was largely adopted by the Government.

There is one thing I was most disappointed about, and I would ask the committee to look at it very carefully. Professor Nicholls did not complete the task - he says this himself - and say how we get maximum revenue from the change of use charge. How do we maximise our revenue? What he did do was add a couple of really interesting elements that I had not thought about and they are very important. Those interesting elements are that it is not good enough just to look at the change of use charge; you also have to look at your revenue from rates and your revenue from land tax across the 99 years or the

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