Page 878 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 24 February 2009

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Mr Coe interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: That being the case, I call Mrs Dunne.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne has the floor for questions without notice.

Land—rent scheme

MRS DUNNE: My question to the Chief Minister is regarding the still-breathing land rent scheme. Chief Minister, yesterday in the media you said, “This notion that they are out of pocket, that it is costing them, is just not true; it’s bulldust.” Chief Minister, what is the government’s position regarding legal fees incurred as a result of the land rent scheme? Are they considered to be an out-of-pocket expense?

MR STANHOPE: I am glad that Mrs Dunne asked this question. In an earlier debate today, Mrs Dunne stated quite specifically that they had all paid their stamp duty—none of them have—and that they had all paid holding fees, and none of them have. Mrs Dunne, I am pleased to have this opportunity to go to some of the details and some of the attacks about the scheme.

Part of the overall trashing of the scheme by the Liberal Party over this last week has been based on a complete misunderstanding of land rent. That is why, in my earlier answers, I sought to explain how important it was to understand what it was we were seeking to achieve.

No, Mrs Dunne, people have not paid stamp duty. No, Mrs Dunne, people have not paid holding fees. Mrs Dunne, the LDA is holding land on behalf of, I think now, 40 people. Forty working Canberra families on incomes of less than $75,000 have, in great anticipation and in great hope, now identified land through the land rent scheme, through the LDA, which the LDA is holding for them while they seek to identify finance.

As I mentioned before, one person has identified land and has actually settled. She has actually found finance. She has found finance independently and she has settled. In the context of whether moneys have been paid, whether stamp duty has been paid, yes, in relation to that block they have. One family has actually identified a source of funding and has settled. Four young families earning less than $75,000 have exchanged. So yes, in relation to those four exchanges there would. I do not have the detail but there would have been some fees and some arrangements made.

For those families that have not exchanged or settled, and they are essentially the families that are the focus of the Liberal Party’s agitation, they have not paid; they are not out of pocket. It may be that some people have taken legal advice, but of course that has nothing to do with the government. There have been compulsory information sessions.

Mr Seselja: You did not lead them astray then?

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