Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1557 ..
MR SMYTH: There they are at the far end of Tuggeranong as far away out of sight of the Chief Minister would want them: we do not want to talk to people who do not fit my stereotype. Instead what we want to do is slag off at people who have tried to get ahead.
When you take the median house price of $457,000, it is quite a reasonable range to have the concession up to half a million dollars. Indeed, it is in line with several other jurisdictions. It is interesting that just yesterday a whole range of taxes, including the burden of stamp duty, were lifted by Victoria and the Northern Territory. We do have the comment from Tanya Plibersek, “Victoria is doing what we are doing. New South Wales has already done it. The Northern Territory did it yesterday.” The federal minister thinks lifting the burden of stamp duty from first home buyers is a good thing. The only person in the country that does not believe it is the Chief Minister of the ACT and the creator of the problem. (Time expired.)
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.56): Again we see the Chief Minister in some disarray this afternoon, but again eulogising his own chief ministership. He keeps talking about his legacy, and when you start talking about your legacy you know you are on your last legs.
Today we have seen the vulnerability of this Chief Minister. He actually does not recognise how vulnerable he is. The sheer arrogance of the man! He does not understand that the average mechanic and his hairdresser wife cannot afford to get into the housing market in the ACT and that the $20 notional stamp duty is illusory because there are almost no houses in the ACT that come in under the price. If you find a house that costs more than $310,000 you start paying stamp duty on it at more than the concessional $20 rate.
By the time you get to the median house price—Mr Smyth pointed out that it is now in excess of $420,000—there is no stamp duty concession under the Stanhope plan. The Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, is so arrogant that he does not comprehend that young members of our community are being forced elsewhere because they cannot afford a house in the ACT.
I have young adult children who do talk to me and other people about their concerns about getting into the housing market. Some are more concerned than others because, I suppose, of where they work. They see the value of getting some property behind them to get some stability in their lives and some financial security. When young construction workers sit around and have smoko and talk about housing affordability—I know they have been doing that this week in town—they do not give the thumbs up to the land rent scheme. They are appalled at the notion that they might take out a 99-year lease and pay rent for their whole lifetime and not actually own the block of land that they have built a house on. They think that this notion is completely and utterly unacceptable.
I have spent a lot of time in the last little while with people who work in the building industry, who employ in the building industry, people who employ young people; people who are involved in the building industry, and so far I have found one person