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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 114 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

It has been the Liberal government opposite which have sought time and again to change the fundamental nature of the territory's leasehold system by pushing for legislation at a federal level to allow for 999-year leases, perpetual leasehold, and who have introduced legislation into this place to put in place a 50 per cent change of use charge. They are the people who have caused the instability. They are the people who have undermined the stability previously inherent in the administration of the change of use charge, no-one else. For them to come into this place and accuse other members of creating instability is an absolute farce, and it should be judged as such. Look at their record. Look at who has been pushing for change.

This legislation is clear and straightforward. It provides for remission in circumstances judged to be in the public interest, subject to the veto of the Assembly. It puts into the legislation remissions previously set by regulation. We believe it appropriate that such provisions should be embedded in the act. If this legislation is passed today, all other existing remissions in the regulations and omitted from the regulations by this legislation will require a disallowable instrument, which I am sure it is not beyond the minister's wit to put together and table in this place.

We have to protect the value of a community asset and not use remission of a charge in an indiscriminate way. If we want to remit a charge, let us make it targeted, let us make it effective and let us make it accountable. That is what this bill does. I urge members to support it.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 3, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 4.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (12.17): Mr Speaker, I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page ]. As I foreshadowed, this amendment puts back into place the 75 per cent change of use charge.

MR CORBELL (12.18): This an embarrassing backdown by Mr Smyth. That is all we can say about it. Mr Smyth, prior to the last sitting of the Assembly last year, in discussions I had with him and Mr Osborne, indicated that he would be bringing forward more comprehensive legislation to put in place the government's position in relation to change of use charge before the enactment of the sunset clause. Labor kept its part of the bargain by putting forward our legislation before the commencement of the sunset clause in November last year. We are yet to see any legislation from Mr Smyth. Instead we have a hastily put forward package of amendments.

I want to speak very briefly to the issue of 75 per cent. What Mr Smyth proposes by this amendment is to set in place as the normal charge for change of use charge 75 per cent of improved value. The Assembly should not be supporting this amendment if it is prepared

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