Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1187 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
over there reckoned that it was a grab for money. Guess what? The truth lies somewhere between.
It is important to know where we are coming from. Acknowledgment of what we have today was not inherent in what Ms Dundas said. She rightly stated the formula we have. The formula has traditionally been added to by a cap of CPI at the gross level. You talk about inequities. That has given rise to considerable inequities. In the last two years of the Liberal system, rates in Ainslie went up by 10 per cent; in Dickson, by 12 per cent; in Downer, by 10 per cent; in Watson, by 12 per cent. In the inner north rates went up by 10 per cent in two years. That is the last two years of the Liberal system. I only put them up by CPI across the board last year. I am talking about 2000-01 and 2001-02. If over the same two years you lived amongst the poor people in Barton, your rates would have decreased by 6 per cent. If you lived in Narrabundah, a fairly middle-of-the-road suburb populated in many parts by low-income earners, you would have had a 13 per cent increase.
I can add some more figures. Compare Narrabundah to Bruce. The differential, taking into account the increase or decrease, was 30 per cent in two years-up 13 per cent in Narrabundah and down 17 per cent in Bruce. The differential between Dickson and O'Malley was 17 per cent, rates going down in O'Malley. The differential between Watson and Barton was 18 per cent.
Over a number of years we have tried to keep the rise in rates at a manageable level. It has not worked. The major single objective of what the government is proposing and what I am proposing is to ensure that people living in given suburbs are not overtaken by spiralling land values. This Assembly ought to be taking a serious look at the system I have proposed.
Mrs Burke: We are.
MR QUINLAN: Good. Think of the people in Duffy. Duffy is a suburb that has a fairly wide socioeconomic spread. Chapman has some fairly salubrious areas but a reasonable socioeconomic spread also. Blocks of land in Duffy, after the bushfire, have sold for $250,000,000. Blocks of land in Chapman have sold for $500,000 to $600,000. What is going to be the impact for Chapman and Duffy and probably, in the fullness of time, Holder and-perish the thought-Weston?
If what looks like taking place in Chapman, Duffy and Holder in the Weston Creek area does happen, we will have what has happened in Yarralumla.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: That's enough.
MR QUINLAN: Stop there? Actually, Mr Deputy Speaker, Woden has done quite well in recent times. For example, Garran has had a decrease of about 21/2 per cent in its rates over the last couple of years. I am sure you would believe that that is targeting the right socioeconomic strata.
The system we have used over the last few years has not worked. It has had differential impacts. It has lowered rates in O'Malley; it has lowered rates in Isaacs; it has lowered rates in Barton. But it has hit suburbs that have been heading towards the desirable stage,