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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3917 ..

Parking levy

MRS CROSS: My question is to the Treasurer in his capacity as the minister responsible for the car-parking levy. The government in the ACT requires all buildings to be constructed with a certain number of car-parking places. I am under the impression that, if there are insufficient places, the owners will be penalised something in the order of $12,000. Now these building owners are being charged a parking levy for complying with this part of the building code.

Constituents have informed me that the details of this levy have not yet been completed and the consultation process is fairly haphazard. I gather that the actual amounts of the levy and how these amounts will be applied are very vague at the moment. Indeed, these very same stakeholders are being asked what they think should be applied. Minister, have any studies been done in the ACT on equitable arrangements for the implementation of the proposed parking levy? If so, will you please table them?

MR QUINLAN: Members will be aware that this parking levy applies in other major cities in Australia. I would immediately defend the building code requirements as being nothing less than commonsense, and I would have thought everyone else in this place would also accept that.

It strikes me as odd that you would call the consultations "haphazard"and "vague". That means that they are-

Mrs Cross: The constituents are calling them that.

MR QUINLAN: Excuse me!

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mrs Cross!

MR QUINLAN: It strikes me as odd that you would make it a core part of your question. If the consultations are haphazard and vague, that means that final determinations have not been made and people are being listened to. If they were structured and definite as opposed to vague, there would be no point, would there?

We are consulting with people who will be affected by this levy so we can apply it fairly and equitably and so that businesses in the ACT are no worse off than businesses in other major cities in Australia and so that they contribute to the benefit of the community in a similar manner to other businesses across Australia.

MRS CROSS: I have a supplementary question. Minister, why is this charge set as a non-tax-deductible levy, as opposed to a deductible charge of some sort? Why have you become so upset about a question that has come straight from constituents?

MR QUINLAN: To answer the second question first, the question contained inference. If you want information in this place, I think you can ask for information in this place. You do not have to add the colour. In terms of how the levy will be applied, it will be applied just as it is applied across Australia in other sophisticated capital cities.

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