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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1544 ..

MR SPEAKER: I cannot rule on the matter of contempt; it really is a matter for the Assembly. But I warn you, Mr Pratt, to cease interjecting in a way that interferes with the way that members operate in this Assembly. If members feel as though they are being impeded, they should draw my attention to it by way of a point of order.

Housing—stamp duty

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.13) I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) that the median house price for a Canberra house is now over $457 000 making buying a first home in Canberra out of the reach of many young homebuyers;

(b) the high average level of stamp duty paid by first homebuyers;

(c) that many jurisdictions, including New South Wales, have waived stamp duty, subject to threshold, for first homebuyers; and

(d) that Tanya Plibersek, the Federal Minister for Housing, has welcomed a proposal by the Canberra Liberals to waive charging stamp duty for first homebuyers under a value of $500 000 stating that most States and Territories have reduced stamp duty or no stamp duty for first homebuyers, usually under a cap, that she thought it was a good idea and that helping people into the housing market in that way is a great thing; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to join the Liberal Party in a bipartisan approach to helping first homebuyers by waiving stamp duty on homes costing less than $500 000 for first homebuyers.

The issue of housing affordability continues to be of serious concern to thousands of Canberrans, not just of course young people who find themselves increasingly locked out of the market but indeed a wide variety of Canberrans who are concerned at this issue, who are concerned about their children and their grandchildren, their brothers and sisters, their family members and friends who are being locked out of the housing market. And it needs to be said that much of this happened as a result of this government’s policies. I will get to that in a few moments.

But my motion is in relation to the high average level of stamp duty paid by first homebuyers. I also note that many jurisdictions, including New South Wales, have adopted policies to severely reduce or get rid of altogether in some circumstances stamp duty for first homebuyers; in the case of New South Wales, for homes under $500,000.

We have heard the continual talk from the Chief Minister about his concern for first homebuyers. On the one hand, he claims that Canberra is a very affordable place to be

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