Page 4812 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

(a) that first homeowners in the ACT are disproportionately affected by rising home prices;

(b) that, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the median house price in Canberra in March 2002 was $245,000 but by December 2009 it was $525,000;

(c) that the Housing Industry Association—Commonwealth Bank survey shows that the ACT is one of the least affordable jurisdictions for first home owners, with the most recent report on the June quarter showing that housing affordability for first home owners has fallen by 14.7 per cent in annual terms;

(d) the Labor Government constraints on the housing market which put significant pressure on house prices, including:

(i) lack of competition in land development;

(ii) slow land release programs;

(iii) bureaucratic and slow planning processes;

(iv) the slow roll out of infrastructure in greenfields developments;

(v) the significantly increased change of use charge, which is a tax on units and urban infill; and

(vi) the continued imposition of stamp duty;

(e) the Greens Party policies that put further significant pressure on the cost of a home, including support for the increased change of use charge, an impediment for apartments and infill; and

(3) calls on the Government to immediately address the issues in (2)(d) in order to have a genuine impact on housing affordability in the ACT.”.

My amendment goes to some of these issues. It is all well and good for the Greens to say, “What we’ll do is we’ll reclassify this,” but I do agree to an extent with what Katy Gallagher had to say in her speech, which is that simply reclassifying is not likely to actually deliver more affordable housing to the people of the ACT.

When you actually look at the policies of this government, which include massively increasing the tax on homes, these are all putting upward pressure on prices. We had, I think, the completely incredible answer from the Treasurer today in question time, saying that apparently it will have no impact on rents. That is not what anyone in industry believes. You cannot get anyone to back up that claim that you can see taxes go up to $50,000 for a unit in Braddon—$50,000 per unit—and that is somehow going to have no impact on rents. It is absurd. If that was the case, you could make it $100,000, you could make it $150,000 or $200,000 and apparently it would have no impact. Of course it will have an impact. It is a significant tax. It is therefore a significant cost.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video