Page 2673 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 23 June 2009
MS GALLAGHER: Well, I am aware of criticism of property taxes. Those people who argue around property taxation I believe they think they have grounds to do that. I do not know that I can add anything further to this discussion, Mr Smyth. The Property Council thinks there are grounds on which to argue against the revenue that we raise through property transactions. The government believes that we have in place a fair way of raising revenue around property, and when you look at state by state comparisons we do not tax any more than any other jurisdiction, and it remains a legitimate way to pay for hospitals, to pay for schools, to pay for municipal services, to the community. I look forward to the discussions with the Property Council that we will have over how to maintain the same level of revenue but change the mechanisms to raise that revenue. If they can convince me there is a way to do it, I am very happy to implement it in budgets in years to come.
Canberra international airport—noise
MS HUNTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, on Tuesday, 16 June in question time you confirmed that the ACT government has made a submission to the Canberra international airport 2009 preliminary draft master plan. Chief Minister, are you aware that the process of making submissions public is that the ACT government merely needs to give permission to the Canberra international airport group to publish the submission on their website and can you tell the Assembly if and when you will be doing this?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. I would have to concede, Ms Hunter, I was not aware that that was the process, but I thank you for informing me of that. I will take some advice. I think when you asked this question previously I did undertake to take some further advice, which I am not sure I have received to date. I will look further at it, Ms Hunter. I have to say, in the context of the submission that was made, it is a very good submission and I have no desire to unnecessarily restrict its distribution. I have been responding in relation to that to advice in relation to just the process, but on the basis of the question that you have asked and the information that you have provided I will take some further advice and perhaps see whether or not we can respond by releasing the report, as you so obviously desire.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?
MS HUNTER: Does the ACT government support a night time curfew at Canberra Airport to protect the people of Canberra from the impact of increasing numbers of night time flights predicted as a result of the 24-hour freight hub being developed?
MR STANHOPE: The attitude that the government has taken to the issue of noise in the Canberra international airport is one where we believe the decisions in relation to any decision that impacts on the capacity of the airport to reasonably, without undue impact on community citizen amenity, be the driver of our economy and the provider of services for our community to the extent that it is—we believe this particular issue, this issue of Canberra international airport, its location and the rules and regulations that would govern its operation, is one of those decisions in relation to which a genuine commitment to some triple-bottom-line decision making, policy making,