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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 1870 ..



that for such a major change in policy there would be a considerable amount of supporting information covering such relevant matters as the coverage of the proposed policy; the likely economic, social and environmental impact of the proposed policy within the analysis prepared, using reasonable assumptions that are known and can be tested by the committee; and provisions for exemption from the policy, if such provisions are to be provided.

I suggest that the development of public policy be subject to a much more rigorous approach than has been demonstrated by the proposal concerning changes to the rating policy of the ACT.

I would like to thank all those who took the time to put in submissions. Although the number was not large, the range of submissions and the way they were prepared and given to the committee indicate that the community was well represented. I thank those witnesses who chose to appear for giving up their time to help build a better city. They all had something to say that was useful in at least allowing the committee to come to its conclusions. I would like to thank my colleagues. We do not always agree in committees on the way things happen, but we worked our way through it in an amicable way, and I think that is important.

The point needs to be raised of course, Mr Speaker-and you have clearly received a letter from Mr Wood-about the issue of leaking and whether it is contempt. I have not had a chance to speak to my colleagues in the Public Accounts Committee, but the discussion also came up at the Estimates Committee this morning. It is an issue we need to look at.

Occasionally things get leaked, and it is unfortunate that they do simply because it undermines the process of the committees. The committees need the ability to speak freely and frankly in house so that members can compare and argue, feeling free to do so without waking up to find it appearing on the morning news. We in the opposition take seriously the whole issue of leaking, which does not happen a lot but does happen every now and then and needs to be addressed.

The final thank you is to the secretary of the committee, Stephanie Mikac. This was Stephanie's first report, and I would like to thank her for the way she approached the task. As a new secretary to a committee it must be daunting to have to put together your first report. The way Stephanie behaved and the professionalism and courtesy she offered the members and me as chair is welcomed.

I think she has done a fabulous job, particularly in terms of some of the research done with the assistance of Lesley Wheeler and the administration of Judy Moutia. The level of work the three of them have done assists me as chair and the rest of the committee members in our ability to do the job properly. We extend our thanks to the committee.


(10.47): The intention of this bill is to change the rates system so that long-term home owners will not be rated out of their suburbs. This is a good intention and is a response to the social impact that market forces are having on affordability of housing. There certainly needs to be a response to this problem. However, after close examination of this particular proposal, I am not able to support it and have joined with Mr Smyth in creating a majority in this inquiry.

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