Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 May 2009) . . Page.. 2009 ..
siphoned and shredded and, as a result, he has drawn unwitting journalists into a web that has resulted in the people of Canberra being deceived. He should be condemned for his misleading of the people.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.24): It is a very sad day today; it is a very sad day that the Chief Minister’s vanity comes before genuine hard-working Canberrans who want to enter the property market, who are doing everything they can. They might be on less than $75,000 or they might be on slightly more, but they are having a tough time and they want to buy in. They find it hard to buy in when they get a cottage block for $140,000. They find it hard to buy in when they get a house and land package for pretty much $400,000 at the cheapest.
It is a pretty tough market to get into. These people in Canberra are still around. The global financial crisis has hit them too. They are still around; they are still living in rental accommodation. All these people are collectively driving up the price of rent here in Canberra. What would really help rent in the ACT would be to free up more land and to get more of these people into genuine homeownership—genuine houses upon land that they own.
But here we have the Chief Minister determined to stick to this outdated scheme that never, ever worked. He got advice after advice to say the scheme was bad. Dozens of people contacted the Chief Minister to say, “It’s not going to work.” Yet here he is, a couple of years on, still saying, “No, no. My vanity, my pride, is worth more than all the people in Canberra who are dying to get into the property market.” Instead—because of your arrogance, because of your overconfidence, because of your extreme out-of-touch views—they are left waiting. They are left with rental accommodation.
This scheme traps people into debt. They have a house that is depreciating which they own and they have got land which is appreciating which they have no say over. They do not have any assets in the land, yet that is the thing that is actually increasing in value.
It is interesting that people in Canberra would actually rely on the word of the Chief Minister. I find it hard to believe myself. When I see one of the Chief Minister’s media releases or I see him on TV, I tend not to be too trusting of this man. However, a lot of Canberrans are; they have faith in their government. We have got a good democracy here in Australia; people have confidence in our parliamentary system and they have trusted the Chief Minister. They trusted the Chief Minister when he came out and said that he thought this scheme would work. They trusted the Chief Minister when he went repeatedly on the record saying that this program was a good program and that this scheme would work. It is supported everywhere, across the board, he said—across the board, everywhere. At no stage did any financial institution indicate that the nature of the land rent scheme would provide an impediment to lending.
Mr Smyth: At no stage.
MR COE: At no stage at all; that is right. “We have no reason to believe that the relationship we have with them, the undertakings we have from financial institutions, are other than that they will support land rent. In relation to the interest of banks and