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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 116 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Mr Rugendyke said he has a strong commitment-and I believe he does-to proper funding of social services in this territory. We are talking about revenue here. This is revenue for the ACT that we are talking about. All Mr Corbell is doing here today-and my amendment refines it to a degree-is ensuring that if we are forgoing revenue for the territory there is a good reason. The bill brings the parliament into it. It allows us to express a view on whether or not the territory will benefit from a remission-and there may well be cases of that.

The position that we have come up with here is totally reasonable. It is not about some meaningless numerical compromise that says, "Okay, they want 100 and they want 50, so let us go for 75." It is more complex than that. This is about your approach to the assets of the people of the territory and responsible planning of the territory. I just cannot believe anyone would not support it.

Mr CORBELL (12.24): I would be very interested to hear the view of Mr Osborne on this matter in this place. Over the past couple of months Mr Osborne has made some comments in the media on this matter, but I would be very interested to hear his justification in this place, on the record, for the view I understand he is going to take on the level of change of this charge.

I should indicate that the Labor Party believes that if we proceed with setting the level of change of use charge at 75 per cent as proposed by Mr Smyth's amendment then there is not much point proceeding with the rest of this bill. We will have to seriously consider whether or not we will support legislation which allows for remission on top of a base rate of remission. It a nonsensical proposition to have a base rate of remission and then the ability to have remission on top of that.

I flag to members that if we proceed down the path of setting the rate at 75 per cent the Labor Party will probably have to vote against the remainder of the clauses of its own bill, because it will have been made a complete nonsense by setting the rate at 75 per cent.

Again, I put it that it would be invaluable for this debate if Mr Osborne was able to indicate on the record his view in relation to the establishment of the base change of use charge rate.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.27 to 2.30 pm

Questions without notice

Nurses-Canberra Hospital

MR STANHOPE: My question is to the Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services, who said in his statement of 7 December last on the nursing workforce that the government's proposed salary package would cost $22 million over the next three years, with ongoing costs of $11 million per annum. He said then that this month-that is, February 2001-he would move for the appropriation of the additional amount for the year. Can the minister say whether that is still his intention?

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