Page 3851 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 19 October 2005

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Notwithstanding these initiatives, we acknowledge that more work needs to be done. We are committed to doing that work. Our record speaks for itself. We will continue to work with consumers and carers in addressing these very important health care issues.

Land valuations

MR MULCAHY: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. The New South Wales ombudsman recently reported that some 35 per cent of land valuations were subsequently found to be incorrect, mainly due to flaws in the mass valuation system. Since the mass valuation system is also used in the ACT, what is the error rate in the ACT?

MR QUINLAN: Simply put, that rate has not been measured. I will just comment on the way this matter has been handled so far. Mr Mulcahy came into this place last evening at the absolute last moment and stirred the pot on this. He put out a press release, obviously with an embargo on it, designed quite clearly to ensure that the government had a minimum amount of time to prepare some response.

Mr Mulcahy: It has been in the paper for a month. Read the papers or stay in Australia. See October 5.

MR QUINLAN: You are in fact the chair of the public accounts committee and I would have expected a little better. If you wanted to examine a matter like this then I think you should have taken a far more responsible approach.

At this stage I am trying to sort the wheat from the chaff in relation to what you have put out—the claims that you have made in correspondence to my office and the claims that you have made in respect of the responses you have received to that correspondence. I find some correspondence that has come through rather curious at best in terms of how we get a block of valuations by a real estate agent, which somehow morphs, into concern by a lot of people on the north side, and that is your public claim.

I am prepared to look at this issue in a sensible and sane manner, which I think puts me a yard or two ahead of you.

Mr Mulcahy: Give us a break.

MR QUINLAN: I mean this. This is snide politics in the extreme. I expected through the course of this Assembly that there might be a shift up. We are used to this sort of distortion—put out a story at the last moment, create a misapprehension if you can and then hope that the story dies in 12 months because the explanation is quite often a little bit more complex than the bland statements that have been made.

If there is a concern in New South Wales and if it does flow through to the ACT, we are happy to look at that. But so far we have not seen a great groundswell at all in appeals against the valuations. We may now, of course, but we have not seen that before. There has not been any particular reason to go out and measure it.

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