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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 110 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

that on one project the amount escalated by 22 per cent. Therefore, the return on a considerable investment was not all that much.

Development in this territory creates work, not only work at the development site but also work in ancillary industries. There are jobs. That is what this place should be about. We should also be conscious of our responsibilities for the community's assets and not flood the market with 11,000 blocks of land or put narrow streets into suburban areas. Development should be good, healthy development, done in such a way that it does not sacrifice what this territory is renowned for-that is, a good outcome from development.

I go back to what I indicated at the beginning. I believe that betterment or change of use charge should be at 50 per cent. That is what I agreed to in our report in 2000. We should also look at removing the betterment system and introducing a system such as that that operates under section 94 of the Local Government Act in New South Wales. That is the way we should be moving. We should be progressive enough to see that it has worked well in other places. We would do a great service to industry and developers if we moved that way. Developers and the community would know what costs-not just the financial costs-the system was going to impose on development.

MS TUCKER (11.57): Mr Hird said it: we will do a great service to the industry if we support the Liberal position. I will answer some of the arguments that have come up after I put the general position of the Greens. We have taken a strong position consistently. We believe that the development lobby keeps pushing a line that this subsidy is necessary to facilitate redevelopment and that a 100 per cent change of use charge has discouraged particular development proposals in the past. However, we have never been presented with clear evidence of this. There does not appear to be any correlation between the level of the change of use charge and the level of building activity in the ACT. I found Mrs Burke's comment that we are naive to take this position interesting, because the research that has been done, and the Stein and Nicholls reports make it quite clear. Mr Rugendyke quoted Professor Nicholls in support of his argument, but the Nicholls report made it quite clear when it said:

The terms of reference also required an analysis of the impact of the CUC [change of use charge] on investment in the ACT. This task was made difficult by a lack of relevant data in an easily accessible and useful form. This, combined with the impact of the introduction of Federal Government policies, 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.

The Nicholls report went on to talk about data which covered a period when change of use revenue fluctuated erratically:

In the case of non-residential building approvals however, while there are short term apparent seasonal fluctuations in the data, there is also a distinctive long term trend with a positive slope, indicating a long term increase in the value of private non-residential building approvals in the ACT.

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