Page 813 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 2 April 2008

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Wednesday 2 April, 2008

The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

(Quorum formed)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


MR SPEAKER: Members, this morning Mrs Burke lodged an MPI concerning housing affordability. Standing order 130 states:

That a matter on the notice paper must not be anticipated by a matter of public importance, an amendment or other less effective form of proceedings.

Private members business notice No 5 listed on today’s notice paper lodged by Mr Seselja also concerns housing affordability in accordance with standing order 111. Mr Seselja wrote to the Clerk this morning and withdrew his notice. Accordingly, I have ruled that the MPI submitted by Mrs Burke is in order.

Rates (Fire and Emergency Services Levy Repeal) Amendment Bill 2008

Mr Mulcahy, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (10.33): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY: It gives me great pleasure to speak in favour of this bill and give the Assembly yet another opportunity to alleviate the tax burden on Canberra families. The government have previously shown their unwillingness to reduce taxes, but they now have another opportunity to amend their previous position. Yes, Mr Speaker, they now have another opportunity to provide some much needed tax relief to the people of Canberra.

In case there is any doubt, I hasten to note that tax reform and the provision of efficient and effective government services are not mutually exclusive goals. Providing government services should not require the rapid increases in taxation that we have seen in the ACT. Indeed we saw in the second appropriation bill that the government has been awash with more money than they have really known what to do with, and their provisions of additional services have been an addendum to their original budget plans. The fact that the second appropriation was introduced so soon after the original budget shows us that much of this spending was essentially an

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