Page 3801 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 18 October 2005

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Consequent upon the changes that have been accepted today, it is necessary to make a further amendment to allow for the University of Canberra and its reporting. This is an amendment to the schedule that affects the University of Canberra inasmuch as it is not covered by the annual reports act. We have now reintroduced the annual reporting requirement into the bill. This is purely a mechanical procedure to take account of the consequences of accepting those amendments.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.56): I indicate that the opposition would support that. It makes sense to make that further amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Remainder of bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to

Bill, as amended, agreed to.


Motion (by Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Land valuations

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.57): I want to speak briefly tonight on the matter of land valuations. I am sorry the Treasurer has left the chamber; he might be interested in this discussion. More and more evidence is emerging from representations I am receiving that errors and disparities in land valuations are causing landholders to be charged amounts that may well be incorrectly based. I am aware of cases in the electorate of Molonglo where property owners have disputed the valuation of their land and were subsequently successful in having their payments reduced. This shows that, if you appeal, you stand a good chance of paying less but that, if you do nothing, you will pay at the higher rate. Of course people are getting together collectively, which means that the cost of the appeal and the resources needed to pursue that appeal are able to be amortised between a number of parties.

The public needs to know that valuations can be challenged. This could well lead to rates and land taxes being reduced. I have been informed of cases where valuations struck in 2004 were subsequently found to be too high, and that rates and taxes were only reduced because the landholders appealed. A number of complaints have been raised with my office. Although I have written to the Treasurer on each and every case which has come through, I have not been satisfied that the matters have been addressed with the level of detail that I think is warranted, given the unusual number of people who have approached my office.

People in the property industry tell me that outcomes like this are inevitable as a consequence of a number of factors, including the mass appraisal system, which inherently has a high risk of error when properties are not homogenous; wrong commencement time in the property price cycle, resulting in subsequent adjustments not

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