Page 42 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 12 February 2008

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It always has to be recognised and understood in relation to land supply around Australia that issues around affordability, an enormous spike in demand and scarcity of supply have impacted in every city and every jurisdiction in Australia. Indeed, the increase in prices has been a very significant feature of Perth, Darwin, Brisbane and, earlier, but not so much latterly, both Melbourne and Sydney.

Mr Seselja: They don’t own it all.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Seselja reminds me of the great and significant flaw in his understanding around issues of the LDA and land supply. He rails constantly that the issue and the difficulty—it is inherent in Mr Smyth’s question: the problem in the ACT is the Land Development Agency. Mr Corbell was quoted—and not positively, of course—in relation to his support for the Land Development Agency and its creation. We have Mr Seselja on the other hand declaring as a declared Liberal Party policy position, during the run-up to the election, that the LDA will be abolished and that we will return to private sector land development throughout the ACT. Yet when I say, as I did just now, that this is an issue that affects every jurisdiction in Australia, Mr Seselja’s quick retort is: “Oh, yes, but they don’t own all the land in the ACT; you do. Therefore you have a greater capacity”—apparently—”as a government to influence land prices and land supply than governments in other places.”

There is a great logical inconsistency in this, isn’t there—that our failing is that, because of the LDA and our ownership of all the land, we did not affect or influence land supply and land prices in the way that other governments might or might not have done, because here it is publicly owned whereas in other places it is privately owned. If the private sector was so great at foreseeing or dealing with these issues, why is there a significant affordability and land supply issue in the other cities?

Mr Smyth: But do you take responsibility? My question is: do you take responsibility?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth, cease interjecting.

MR STANHOPE: If there has been a greater spike in land prices in Perth than in the ACT, as there has been—

Mr Smyth: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister.

Mr Smyth: Perhaps in the last 20 seconds the Chief Minister could answer the question, which was: does he take responsibility?

MR SPEAKER: It was about the cost of land, Mr Smyth.

MR STANHOPE: So here is the great conundrum for Mr Seselja and the illustration of his complete lack of understanding: land prices have risen more sharply in Perth than they have in the ACT; land is privately owned in Perth, but not in the ACT; but it is all the fault of the LDA and the ACT. (Time expired.)

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