Page 2163 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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Ayes 6

Noes 11

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Doszpot

Dr Bourke

Ms Hunter

Mrs Dunne

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Gallagher

Question so resolved in the negative.

Planning and Development (Lease Variation Charges) Amendment Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 5 May 2011, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (8.06): The Canberra Liberals will be opposing this bill. There are a number of reasons for that but in summary this is a bill that tries to implement bad policy. It has been through a very poor process and this has resulted in, I think, a very poor piece of legislation. In fact whether you actually agree—

Ms Gallagher: Come on, you have had two years to come up with another idea.

MR SESELJA: You are very tetchy on this. You have had two years and you come up with this rubbish. Whether or not you agree with the principle of massive tax increases on housing, this is still a bad piece of legislation. It is poorly thought through. It will not provide the certainty that has been promised—in fact, far from it. It will actually provide the opposite. It will provide less certainty for more tax.

I will go through some of the key reasons why we believe this is a bad piece of legislation, both in the substance of the legislation and in the detail of the policy which will be implemented through various measures, many of which have not been seen yet, such as the regulations and the guidelines. It is a tax on housing and therefore an attack on housing affordability. Canberra is in the midst of the worst housing affordability crisis in the history of the territory. Never before, since the first sods were turned to make Burley Griffin’s plan a reality, has the simple dream of homeownership been beyond the reach of so many Canberrans.

Canberra is now the second most expensive city in the entire country, and we hold that dubious honour by a negligible margin. We are only around $10,000 cheaper than buying a home in Sydney, which itself recognises it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. The government may deny that there is a housing affordability crisis, but then why did Jon Stanhope introduce so many measures apparently to deal with the problem? Why was he so upset at the Canberra Times reporting on housing affordability that he ordered public servants to place an advertisement to refute the claims?

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