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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1990 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

50 years of the lease. I think that is an important breakthrough because we do want not just to maximise the revenue of the change of use charge; we want to maximise the revenue to the community. I think it is important to keep that in mind. I do not think that he did not come up with the evidence to say that 50 per cent would maximise the revenue. He talks about the terms of reference not requiring him to do that, and I think that was a bit disappointing. I think the committee, in looking at this, is going to have to make a judgment about how we finally get the optimum revenue back to the Territory. I think most of us would agree that that is what we are looking for.

The fundamental philosophical position that Mr Rugendyke was referring to is that we, the community, are the landlords. If there is no landlord that does what Professor Nicholls suggests, which is to have the lessor and the lessee, or the landlord and the tenant, share in the profit of a modification to the conditions in which the tenant lives. That is the philosophical position.

Most of us are aware that there are differences in the way people live and the way they look at their land. Yes, we do have to take that into account; but we still want to have a sensible view, and I think that is why members accepted 75 per cent as a reasonable compromise. Is 50 per cent just chipping away, or do we come back to Mr Wood's position, the same position that I have held for many years, which is that 100 per cent benefit will not provide disincentives and will give greater returns? It will also maximise your revenue in the long term, and that is something that needs to be examined.

I am prepared to open my mind. I have already indicated that some of the issues raised by Professor Nicholls are issues that I have not considered before and I think they are really interesting. How do we maximise revenue to the community as a whole? They are important issues. The other thing that the committee has to keep in mind is that the leasehold system is not just about revenue; it is also about appropriate land controls. I think what Professor Nicholls is suggesting is that giving us land controls like in other places will mean that Canberra turns into places like the Gold Coast. No thank you. We do not want it like that. We want the planning controls we have. I think that is really important.

MR HARGREAVES (12.34): Mr Speaker, I am going to be fairly brief. Like many people in the community, I have not really followed this topic that much because the amounts of money we are talking about have been way out of my realm. So I am not familiar with the numbers. As I understand it, the current regime has only collected about $3m anyway.

I have a philosophical problem with dropping it to 50 per cent. I, like my colleagues and Mr Moore, would prefer it at 100 per cent because it seems to me that when we have budget black holes we have to fill them with things like the so-called insurance levy to pay for emergency services. We have to jack up our ACTION bus charges because we have not got enough money to plough into community service obligations. We have not got enough money to plough into education so we have to cut a couple of people out of that. Perhaps our priorities are in the wrong spot.

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