Page 2566 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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We justify that monopoly on the contributions the clubs make to communities. We have heard of clubs in recent times saying, “We might have to modify our contributions to the community because the evil government is taxing us.” If they reduce their contributions to the community, it has to be recognised that they are reducing the argument to maintain that monopoly. We have to recognise that, other than in a club, you are not going to buy a schooner of VB for $2.80 anywhere else in town; you have to pay 60c to 70c more in a pub or tavern. I think the clubs have a bit of room to move and we want to work with them. We want the club industry to continue but, at the same time, I think it is fair and reasonable that they pay the lowest taxation regime since the time the Victorian government imposed a levy on ACTTAB and Tattersalls in relation to every machine. So it is likely that the net tax regime in Victoria is now higher than the one we have said we will do.

Overall, I think the criticisms of economic development in the ACT do not amount to much. Mr Smyth has criticised and said that it has all failed; it is all useless, but one program has been amalgamated into general advice. It is a pretty damned weak case, I have to say. I am very happy with the way economic development is going in the territory. It is something that this government and future governments are still going to have to work on. I think we are still a fair way from the point where growth in the ACT generates itself but we are pushing it closer by investing in local industry. Working with the ANU and with local entrepreneurs I think is proving to be a far more productive way of developing business in the territory than has been previously tried. I have to say I am very happy with the way economic development is going and I am particularly happy that, effectively, the criticism does not amount to a whole lot.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.14—Planning and Land Authority, $33,839,000 (net cost of outputs) and $24,874,000 (capital injection) totalling $58,713,000.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (4.34): In this area of the budget there were a number of concerns for the ACT opposition. I am going to raise just a few of them. No doubt my colleagues will raise some of the others. I note that Mr Corbell is not here at the moment. Hopefully he can make his way down at some stage to listen to part of the debate.

In relation to the sustainable transport plan, sustainable transport is a very good aim. I do not think there is any doubt that people want to see alternative modes of transport, other than private car travel. As Canberra grows—and we certainly hope it will start growing; it is not growing at the moment—that will become more necessary than it is now. Having some sort of plan in place is important, and we support that.

I have concern, though, about the allocation of resources for the sustainable transport plan. There seems to be a bit of an idea from Mr Corbell that it does not matter how much he spends on the sustainable transport plan because of his ideological commitment; that it is a good thing, regardless of what the relative merits of that spending might be. We have seen that in a couple of areas, particularly in the money for the busway, which I will come to shortly. Generally in relation to the sustainable transport plan, Mr Corbell keeps telling us that it will not be achieved through regressive steps against motorists. I do not buy that at this stage. I think we are going to see more—and we are starting to

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