Page 5423 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 8 December 2009

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Question so resolved in the negative.

Bill, as a whole, agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Rates and Land Tax Legislation Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed from 19 November 2009, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11:08): The opposition will be supporting this bill. The bill makes four amendments to the administration of rates and land tax matters in the ACT. The first concerns where an application is made to register a unit plan and the registration is not finalised until the fees have been paid. The second looks at the definition of “owner”. The third looks at the redetermination of unimproved land values. The fourth amendment seeks to provide a more effective process for property owners to advise the commission about the rental status of properties. Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Assistant, thank you.

MR SMYTH: Assistant. I am sorry, Mr Assistant Deputy Speaker.

Mr Hanson: He used to say “Madam Assistant Speaker”.

MR SMYTH: Yes, he used to say “Madam”, but it is quite different. He has cut his mo off.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Don’t you call me a madam, Mr Hanson.

MR SMYTH: “Madam” does not apply to Mr Hargreaves.

Mr Hanson: I will call you “Mr Assistant Speaker”.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Madams don’t charge, Mr Hanson.

MR SMYTH: “Madam” has not applied to Mr Hargreaves for a long time. In relation to the bill, Mr Assistant Speaker, and on unit developments, apparently situations have arisen where a developer has failed to pay the rates that are outstanding on the properties before the properties are sold. This includes situations where a developer entity may be liquidated after completing a development but before paying outstanding rates. These amendments ensure that all of the outstanding rates are paid before a unit plan is registered.

In relation to the owners of a parcel of land, there are situations where a new owner may not register the detail of the change of ownership, such as when there is no mortgage involved. There is no imperative to register new details in a timely fashion.

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