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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2423 ..



There were a number of submitters that suggested we could look at improved value. That was one thing I was interested in hearing more about. That is, obviously, one of the things that the government could look at.

I won't be supporting Mr Smyth's amendments. I did not hear him actually argue against the government's position. He wanted to use maintaining the interim scheme as a lever to force government to take action. But, in my view, that would mean that the community would suffer. That is why I am prepared to support Mr Quinlan's bill.


(Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (1.05 am), in reply: There are a couple of things I need to say in closing the debate. One or two people said in the inquiry that was held by the Public Accounts Committee that there is no perfect system. This is not a reversion to a perfect system.

I am a little bemused by Mr Smyth's approach. He can be quoted in this place as having said, "The approach should have been to implement a sound and robust rating policy, such as we currently have."That is what we are going back to. Talking about my proposed system, he said, "It seeks to replace a policy that has not been shown to be deficient."I would have expected your support, Mr Smyth.

The point has been made by both Ms Dundas and Ms Tucker that we must revert to a value-based system before there is too much disparity between a simple, linear, CPI system and a value-based system. There may be debates, but I think there was only one person who appeared before the committee, and who might have been talking out of shorter term interests, who actually said anything other than, "The system must be value based."

Quite a substantial amount of work has been done before on rating in the ACT, and the system we are going back to is a product of that work. Yes, the government will seek to improve the system, to engender fairness in the process and to come up with alternatives that redress some of the inadequacies of the current system. But that is not just going to pop out of the air. It clearly did not pop out of the air for the Public Accounts Committee.

We will be trying-effectively immediately-to come up with a rating system that is fair to everybody but that remains progressive. Until somebody demonstrates to us otherwise, it will remain value based-whether that is improved or unimproved value remains to be seen. But we must revert, before the time when we find a system that is inevitably value based finds us with much greater shocks. I think that was the well-chosen word Ms Tucker used.

While I am on my feet, and hopefully to save a bit of time, Mr Smyth's amendments obviously do not have the support of the house-and we won't be supporting them, Mr Smyth, you will be surprised to know. I would also like to point out that they are deficient, as well, and the amendments overlook the treatment of commercial land. That would be rated at the current-2001-02-03-AUV at a rating factor unchanged, which is a historic rating factor, whereas under the amendment bill it would be a lower rating factor. Mixed commercial residential blocks to be unit titled will be rated at the historic rating factor-residential-of 0.782, which, similarly to the

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