Page 2677 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 23 June 2009

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MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, stick to the land rent scheme, thank you.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I am more than happy to do that. The land rent scheme is simple in conception. That is why I have been stunned from the outset that Mr Seselja and the Liberal Party have failed to grasp just how beautifully simple the underlying proposal is. There are significant numbers of Canberrans that the Liberal Party do not care for who have trouble, difficulty and, for some, an impossibility to access home ownership because they cannot sustain a mortgage required for, say, a house and land package for $400,000.

That is the beauty of this innovative scheme—innovative and Australian owned and Australian leading—that those groups initially most particularly targeted are those with incomes of under $75,000, the households that the Liberal Party do not care for, the people that the Liberal Party under Mr Seselja do not believe deserve the right to dream of home ownership. It is so simple in concept that I do not know why the Liberal Party has, over this last two years, fought tooth and nail to ensure that this particular scheme is not achieved.

The proposal is quite simple. Households with an income under $75,000 will pay two per cent of the value of land that they acquire as a land rent block. I am advised by Treasury that that will reduce mortgage payments on that first tranche, namely, the price of the land, by 75 per cent. There is the simple equation. There is the attractiveness. There is the opportunity this represents for Canberra families—a 75 per cent reduction in the mortgage amount required for the purchase of the land component of a house and land package.

Then, of course, the purchase of a house, the dream of a lifetime is then possible, is capable of being achieved by households, we believe, on household incomes of perhaps even less than $50,000. What a stunning breakthrough in terms of housing affordability this scheme represents for the people of Canberra.

Why is it that over the last year the Leader of the Opposition has not lost an opportunity to seek to talk down, to destroy and to ensure that this scheme would not succeed? I have Mr Seselja’s press releases and his commentary available to me here today—the dogmatic statements of fact that no finance institution will ever fund this product. As recently as last week there are statements on the record that no finance company will ever finance this product—ever. It is not perhaps will never; it is no finance company will ever fund this product.

What does Mr Seselja say about it now? What does Mr Seselja say now for the weekly press releases? In one of the great ironies of today, the day that CPS, one of Australia’s leading credit providers announces its full support for this product, we have a notice circulated by the Leader of the Opposition for tomorrow bagging land rent once again. He circulated the motion this morning bagging the scheme again.

ACT Women’s Legal Centre—funding

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Attorney-General and relates to an article in the 18 June edition of the Canberra Times about reduced funding for the ACT Women’s

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